Twenty-Eighth Annual BYZANTINE STUDIES CONFERENCE
4-6 October, 2002
The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS
Reconstruction of the NE Gate of the Byzantine Fortress at Isthmia (C. Peirce)
The Byzantine Studies Conference is an association for the presentation and discussion of papers embodying current research on all aspects of Byzantine history and culture. The Conference meets in a different city every year. At meetings, over 100 papers are usually presented and discussed in a relaxed but professional atmosphere. Although most of our members are American academics, we have an international membership and many non-academic members. Graduate students play a large role in the conference and are strongly encouraged to present papers and participate in discussions.
This Book of Abstracts was compiled and edited by Emily Albu and Anthony Kaldellis from documents supplied electronically by the speakers. Copyright (C) is reserved by the individual speakers.
Copies of the Abstracts are available for purchase. Subscriptions for Series 6 (26-30, 2000-2004) are available for $45 as a set. This price includes postage. All orders must be prepaid in US currency; make checks payable to the Byzantine Studies Conference and send orders to:
Prof. Sharon Gerstel
Dept. of Art History and Archaeology
The University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1335
For questions about orders of the Abstracts e-mail S. Gerstel at:
Abstracts of Papers--Byzantine Studies Conference, Ist-1975-Madison, Wis. [etc.]
Byzantine Studies Conference
V. 22/2: Author Index to the Abstracts of Papers, 1 (1975) to 25 (1999)
Key title: Abstracts of Papers -- Byzantine Studies Conference
1 . Byzantine Empire - Congresses
DF501 .5b9a 949.5 77-79346
Library of Congress 77 MARC-S
CITIES AND SPACES
Chair: Timothy Gregory (The Ohio State University)
The Amphitheater as Site of Christian Memory:
Excavations in the Amphitheater of Durres (Dyrrachium)
Kim Bowes (Yale University)
The amphitheater of the ancient port city of Dyrrachium was one of the city's greatest Roman monuments. Set rather unusually in the heart of the Roman city and included within the late antique wall circuit, the amphitheater occupied a significant portion of the city's land area and utilized one of the city's low hills both to support its seating and increase its visibility. The later appropriation of the amphitheater for Christian cult and burial thus marked both the status commanded by the Christian community and its concomitant ability to reconfigure the city's pagan topography into spaces of Christian meaning.
The small Christian chapel in the Durres amphitheater is known principally to art historians, owing to the fine wall mosaics that grace its walls. This chapel, however, is only one of a group of Christian spaces that littered the amphitheater galleries, including a second chapel with frescos, an ossuary and a baptistery. The entire Roman structure, including both galleries and arena, was also used as a necropolis. The amphitheater thus represented a whole network of Christian cult sites, interconnected by the decaying galleries of the Roman building and peppered with the graves of Christian dead who desired proximity to the saint or saints memorialized here.
The Durres amphitheater was excavated in a vigorous, if unscientific fashion in the 1960's by Vangiel To?i, and the later interventions in both the chapel and its surroundings were either never recorded, or incompletely published. Thus, the date of the chapel and its mosaics remains unknown, the other Christian features have gone largely unrecorded and even the date of the amphitheater itself remains a mystery. However, unlike so many Roman amphitheaters, the Durres amphitheater was never restored, its Christian monuments never removed and the majority of its galleries and its arena never completely excavated. Thus, Durres represents a unique opportunity to understand the Christianization of amphitheaters and their appropriation as loci of Christian memory.
The International Centre of Albanian Archaeology, supported by the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) will conduct a season of architectural survey and excavation in the Durres amphitheater during the summer of 2002. A team of American, British and Albanian archaeologists will record both the structural and decorative features of all the excavated Christian spaces and analyze their structural evolution. The team will also undertake a series of sondages to determine the date of principal chapel, and the general outlines of the amphitheater's post-Roman occupation. This season will hopefully be the first in a major project of excavation and restoration in one of Albania's most important ancient monuments.
Middle Byzantine Aphrodisias
Laura Hebert (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
The site of Greco-Roman and Byzantine Aphrodisias, situated in a fertile valley in southwestern Asia Minor, has been the subject of sustained archaeological research since 1961. Founded as a grid-planned town in the late Hellenistic period, the city prospered in the ancient and Late Antique periods. It included a monumental city center comprising the Temple and Sanctuary of Aphrodite, a Theater, two large public squares, public baths, and a number of other civic and sacred structures, surrounded by primarily residential areas. The city walls, erected in the fourth century A.D., enclosed an area of approximately 0.8 square kilometers, most of which was densely occupied.
For the seventh to the ninth centuries, the archaeological record at Aphrodisias is scant, but it picks up again in the late ninth century. It thus allows for a schematic picture of not only the physical, but also the administrative, structure of Middle Byzantine Aphrodisias from that time until ca. 1200, when the Seljuk Turks conquered the town and forcibly resettled its inhabitants elsewhere. Though areas outside the city center have not been extensively investigated, excavation has shown that large parts of the area enclosed by the city wall lay abandoned, with signs of human activity limited to occasional burials. The much smaller population occupied a far more concentrated area (roughly 0.2 square kilometers). It corresponded largely to the site of the former city center, which the Middle Byzantine occupants adapted to their needs. The ancient Theater, cut into one of only two hills on the otherwise flat site, became the center of the residential area, certainly because it was easily defensible. Houses were constructed within the cavea and orchestra, on top of the ruins of the collapsed stage building, and fortification walls were built around the hill. Near the Theater, a tenth- or eleventh-century church occupied a former crossroads, one of many signs that the ancient orthogonal street system no longer functioned. In addition to the Theater, another center of occupation was the Cathedral. Constructed originally as the Temple of Aphrodite, it had been converted to a church in Late Antiquity. Evidence suggests that it was a popular pilgrimage destination in the Middle Byzantine period, when it underwent a thorough renovation. Next door to the Cathedral lay the only ancient house known to have been renovated in the Middle Byzantine period, a large Late Antique house that at this time almost certainly became the Bishop's Palace. Finds from the house include a number of lead seals of Aphrodisian bishops and of various imperial officials, suggesting that the bishop now headed not only the religious, but also the civic administration of Aphrodisias. Immediately behind the probable Bishop's Palace, and alongside the Cathedral, was a wine or olive press, dating to the Middle Byzantine period. Because of its proximity to the Cathedral and probable Bishop's Palace, this and a series of adjacent structures related to the processing of agricultural produce should probably be considered as part of the episcopal complex.
Life and Death in Late Byzantine Troy
Kathleen M. Quinn (University of Cincinnati)
For the past decade, a team of archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati has been engaged in a systematic exploration of the post-Bronze Age remains of Troy in northwest Turkey. In addition to the expected wealth of Greco-Roman material culture, archaeology has also yielded evidence of Late Byzantine use of the Trojan mound, including a small residential settlement, expansion of a nearby water system, and two cemeteries.
Architectural evidence for Late Byzantine activity at Troy comes primarily from the area of the Greco-Roman Sanctuary on the southwest side of the mound. This Sanctuary had been used continuously for religious purposes from the eighth century B.C. until the late third century A.D. When occupation resumed in the Sanctuary in the late twelfth century, it is clear that the nature of the activities conducted there had dramatically changed. The two best-preserved Byzantine buildings from the Sanctuary÷one a three-room, rectangular structure and the other an oval building÷contain a wealth of Late Byzantine ceramics and small finds. The ceramics are all of local (or regional) manufacture with a few imports of types found in excavated material from Constantinople. The small finds are dominated by a wide assortment of glass bracelets, spindle whorls, and an interesting selection of horse trappings (including fragments of horseshoes, bits, and bridles). Preliminary study of the material suggests that the Late Byzantine settlement was primarily residential, and its location seems to have been dictated by the presence of an important water source in the cave nearby.
It was also during the Late Byzantine period that a series of tunnels, first excavated inside the cave by residents of Hellenistic Troy, were expanded and improved. These tunnels gave the Byzantines access to an important natural water source. It has been suggested that the extensive modifications to the cave were necessary to generate a healthy source of water following a series of earthquakes which may have damaged the water table and dried up pre-existing wells.
Other evidence for Late Byzantine use of the Trojan mound comes from the remains of two partially excavated cemeteries. One of the cemeteries has been uncovered during excavations around the cave. A second cemetery is located on the northwest side of the mound near the remains of a Greco-Roman theater. The tombs from both areas are simple, stone-lined cists, and all show evidence of multiple use. Most of the tombs contain modest dedications of jewelry and pottery, some of which is similar to that found in the Sanctuary settlement, and some of which appears to extend into a period later than any known Byzantine settlement at the site. It is this later pottery that suggests some cultural exchange between Byzantine Greeks and Seluk Turks.
Overlooked by previous excavators because of the lack of monumental architecture, the Byzantine period at Troy now offers significant stratified deposits conducive to archaeological study. The information presented in this paper is an overview of the first synthetic treatment of Byzantine material from Troy.
LITURGY, THEOLOGY, AND SPIRITUALITY
Chair: Georgia Frank (Colgate University)
The Liturgy of the Bridal Chamber:
An Introduction to the Problem of Its Origins
Gerasimos P. Pagoulatos (Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece)
"Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night·I see Thy bridal chamber adorned, O my Saviour, and I have no wedding garment that I may enter there. Make the robe of my soul to shine, O Giver of Light, and save me" (three times).
In this paper, I study the problem of the nature and origins of the eleventh-century "Christ the Bridegroom" Byzantine liturgy. In particular, I study the history of the bridal chamber image from its origins in the third-century sources to its appearance in an eleventh-century Matins of the Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the Byzantine Office. The sources I examine include the eleventh-century Matins, the Gospel of Philip, the Acts of Thomas, the Symposium by Methodius of Olympus, and the chapel of the Dura-Europos Christian House. The textual sources of the bridal chamber preserve a unique instance of a proper initiatory liturgy in pre-Constantinian Christianity that advocated the liturgical use of the arts and placed Christ's image at its center. The Dura-Europos Christian House chapel was an exception of an aboveground Christian edifice prior to the Peace of the Church where art was used in the room's initiatory liturgy with the image of Christ at its center. The eleventh-century liturgy indicates a striking similarity with these earliest descriptions of the bridal chamber.
I argue that the bridal chamber is an initiatory liturgy in which the real presence of Christ is signified by the image and the initiates are ontologically transformed to unite emotionally with Christ through contemplation of His image. I also argue that the image of the bridal chamber discussed extensively in the third-century sources continued to exist in a monastic milieu and finally appeared in the eleventh-century "Matins of the Bridegroom" of the Byzantine Church Divine Office for the Holy Week.
None of the liturgical scholars have analyzed this image. Theologians have considered the bridal chamber a heretical subject because of its allusion to Gnosticism and therefore have ignored its preservation in monastic milieus and appearance in the eleventh-century liturgy. Art historians think that images were not used in the liturgy before the sixth century and it was not until after 843 CE, that is, the end of Iconoclastic debate, that the Byzantine Church began to use them liturgically. Archaeologists are not certain what the real function of the baptistery room was because they have not studied the literary evidence sufficiently.
My study of the bridal chamber image will be interdisciplinary. I will bring historical, literary, theological, archaeological, and art historical research to bear on the interpretation of a major image of Byzantine Christianity.
The analysis of the bridal chamber will prove that the liturgical use of images began at least in the third and not as commonly thought in the sixth and eleventh centuries. It will also indicate the transformation of religious metaphors in a variety of literary, theological, architectural, liturgical and visual environments.
Augustine and the Decline in Baptistery Construction:
The Evidence of Archaeology and Text
Caroline Downing (State University of New York College at Potsdam)
St. Augustine's views on doctrinal, social and moral issues have profoundly influenced the Church, even up to the present. It is the contention of this paper that Augustine's views on baptism, in particular, were one factor leading to the decrease in baptistery construction in the fifth and sixth centuries.
Physical evidence of the decline is clear. Archaeological remains of baptisteries, despite many problems in determining accurate dates, still show that by the seventh century very few baptisteries were being constructed. A chart created from the evidence of published baptistery remains demonstrates this decline. Of course, reasons for the decline in baptistery construction are multiple and complex, including such factors as political instability and conversion of the majority of citizens to Christianity (reducing the need for adult baptism). Another reason was a significant change in the Church's attitude toward baptism, which I propose was due in great part to the philosophical arguments of St. Augustine.
Augustine's writings were disseminated widely and much discussed in his lifetime; even his sermons were recorded by notaries and published. Bishops, who were tied to their sees, often used personal letters as a means of publicity; Augustine, whose see was Hippo Regius in North Africa, was of necessity adept at exploiting this means. Jerome once wrote to Augustine complaining testily that a letter from Augustine ostensibly intended for himself had in fact been widely circulated throughout Italy before he even received it!
Baptism was a charged issue for Augustine, whose views on the subject have been characterized as differing quite profoundly from those of his fellow churchmen. His views on original sin, sharpened by his arguments against the Pelagian heresy, and later against Julian, are pertinent. Original sin had long been associated with baptism, in art as well as in literature. In the third-century baptistery excavated at Dura-Europos, a diminutive Adam and Eve, added after the time of the original decoration, are painted directly above the baptismal pool. Clearly they are meant to call to mind the reason for the necessity of baptism: the sin of the first parents. But Augustine insisted upon infant baptism not only because of original sin, but also because even the sins of the infant's own actual parents could be a source of sin in the infant (Enchiridion 46). And Augustine's experience with desire that could not be controlled by his own will, so poignantly lamented in The Confessions, led him to view nature itself as having been corrupted by original sin, and humans as a consequence unable to avoid sinning. Since even after baptism humans cannot control their powerful physical desires, baptism allows only the possibility (actually an impossibility) of not sinning. Augustine had another reason to be suspicious of adult baptism, the complex issue of rebaptism and the Donatist heresy. Augustine repeatedly denounced both Donatists and the practice of rebaptism.
Because Augustine's views on rebaptism and on baptism and original sin led him to devalue adult baptism, he continually championed infant baptism. This in itself could be a reason for a decline in baptistery construction. Infant baptism requires no elaborate baptismal pools, no auxiliary rooms such as consignatoria, no long readings from scripture, or the like. Since the views of "this adamantine man" became Catholic doctrine, it certainly seems possible that they would have been powerful enough to influence early church building programs.
Spiritual Relationships among Monks during the Middle Byzantine Period
John D. Beetham (Catholic University of America)
A short but remarkable document is contained within the archive of the Esphigmenou monastery of Mount Athos. It records provisions made by the protos of that monastery for his spiritual brother when the latter returned after a thirty-six year absence, during which time he had directed a monastery in central Asia Minor. When this monk returned, the protos of Esphigmenou provided him with land on which to live and instructed that he should be remembered in the monastery's liturgy. Both monks had been tonsured by the same spiritual father at Mount Athos.
The document from Esphigmenou attests to the strong ties created among those linked by spiritual kinships, that is, relationships that are described in the language used for family but are created through religious ceremony rather than blood ties. The subject of spiritual relationships is one which has not been fully studied. Work has been done by I. Hausherr on the role of the spiritual director in late antiquity, and by R. Morris on the links created among laypeople who had the same spiritual father. R. Macrides has studied spiritual kinship among laypeople created by baptismal sponsorship and adoption. Not as much attention has been given to spiritual relationships among monks. This paper examines such relationships on the basis of materials gleaned from monastic archives, as well as evidence from monastic typika and hagiography.
Overview of Theological Ideas in George Pachymeres' Paraphrasis (PG Vol. 4, Cols. 608-609) of Ps.-Dionysios Areopagite's On Divine Names (DN 587B1-588A2)
Oleh Kindiy (Catholic University of America)
George Pachymeres (1242- ca. 1310) is primarily renowned among the scholars of Byzantium as "an objective historian." However, there is little known about him as "a scholar and writer of wide-ranging interests, including philosophy, rhetoric, mathematics, and law" (The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. ed. by Alexander P. Kazhdan. v. 3. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 1550). In this paper, a short passage of theological content is translated and given a certain contextual perspective through a comparison with the texts and ideas Pachymeres made use of while compiling his Paraphrasis of several tomes of Ps.-Dionysios the Areopagite (ca. 500), using auxiliary sources, such as the Scholia of Maximos the Confessor (580-662) and John of Skythopolis (or Scholastikos, ca. 536-50).
There is a certain intellectual bondage of ideas between Pachymeres and Dionysios, which can be explained by the popularity and authority of the mystical trend of spirituality in the intellectual circles of Byzantium. From Plato via Plotinus and Proclus, on the Hellenic side, and via Origen, Dionysios, Scholastikos, on the Christian side, the tradition of a sophisticated philosophizing with a highly developed hierarchical and cosmological world-view had been handed over to Pachymeres. Therefore, there can be traced, at least partially with the examples of several theological terms in the chosen passage, the way this tradition had been perceived till the period of the late Byzantine theological thought represented by Pachymeres.
The examples Pachymeres notes and emphasizes in his Paraphrasis are the following: a) Dionysios' ties with antiquity, philosophy, and the Athenian Areopagus; b) his relation to Timothy and Paul, and thus to the Apostolic succession, ecclesiastical authority, and the province of Asia; c) his allegiance to the "scriptural rule" and self-reference to his Theological Outlines; and d) an allusion to the rhetorical devices of syllogisms and geometrical methods refuted by Paul.
In several sentences of the introduction of Pachymeres' Paraphrasis of Dionysian On Divine Names, the main themes are the capacities and limits of humankind; the spiritual ascent from dispersed sensual perception to the unity of the intellect; kataphatic and apophatic approaches to theology. However bold the conclusions might be, only the further study of the entire text will allow us to evaluate Pachymeres' fidelity to the Dionysian ideas, the originality of his own thoughts, and his reception of Scholastikos' Scholia. All we want to point out in this paper is that in works of Dionysios, Scholastikos, and Pachymeres we observe how the idea in the form of a text "grows," evolves. The text is preserved as the center of a certain theological and philosophical school of thinking and has become an inspiration for numerous commentaries and theological treatises, having been also adopted and transformed for the new generations of different audiences. Thus, Pachymeres accomplished his task of transmitting this intellectual tradition, laying the foundation for successive generations of the Byzantine theology.
Chair: Sheila McNally (University of Minnesota)
Ceramic Evidence from the Monastic Settlement of John the Little,
Wadi Natrun, Egypt
Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom (Wittenberg University)
Kellia, Nitria and Scetis are three of the earliest known monastic sites in Egypt. The extensive excavations at Kellia illustrate the complexity of monastic settlements in the Early Byzantine period and testify to the longevity of monasticism under the Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates. Recent excavations at Scetis provide comparable material to Kellia for assessing the regional character of monastic living in the NW Delta. The topos of John the Little in Wadi Natrun, one of several sites at Scetis, is a settlement with diverse architectural phases similar to those found at Kellia; however unlike Kellia, which was abandoned in the 9th century, the site of John's community lasted well into the 14th century. Therefore, this settlement affords the opportunity to begin examining how monastic living fared after the Crusades and the rise of the Mamluks.
This paper will provide an introduction to the ceramic corpus recovered thus far from three areas of exploration at the topos of John the Little. Several complete vessels and diagnostic pieces accord with examples found at Kellia and at comparable monastic sites such as Gebel an-Naqlun, Saqqarra, and Esna. With much of the ceramic typology of Early Byzantine and Islamic Egypt still under debate, this preliminary study of the ceramic evidence from Scetis will demonstrate the importance of the site for studying the distribution and production of both luxury and daily use vessels in the NW Delta. Examples of Coptic glazeware, Fayyumi ware and later Ayyubid vessels indicate that the monks at the topos of John the Little were not isolated from trade routes, but were recipients of gifts, used standardized vessels for every day use, and owned vessels more commonly associated with the trading markets in Fustat/al-Qahira and Alexandria.
Chemical Analysis of Port Saint Symeon Ceramics
Scott Redford (Georgetown University)
Port St. Symeon ceramics are the most common glazed ceramics of the 13th century Mediterranean. Transported by trading networks of the Italian maritime republics, they have been found around the Mediterranean as far west as Pisa and the Black Sea as far north as the Crimea. Their popularity seems to be based on, 1) decoration consisting of abstractions of astrological and heraldic signs common to Latin, Greek, and Islamic societies alike and, 2) availability based on consistent and mass manufacture and transport.
Because of their ubiquity and the ambivalence of their decoration, PSS ceramics have been hard to locate both culturally and in terms of manufacture. Their conventional name was given to them after the 1930s excavation of the port of Antioch, Port Saint Symeon, or al-Mina, uncovered many examples of these ceramics and kiln furniture, establishing their manufacture there in the 13th century. PSS ceramics have continued to be associated exclusively with that small port and with its Latin masters. PSS ceramics have been called the "most typical" of Crusader ceramics by one noted scholar.
In 1996, I initiated a research project to undertake the chemical (Neutron Activation) analysis of PSS ceramics with Dr. James Blackman of the Smithsonian Institution. The aim of this study was to understand production and distribution of this pottery in order better to locate it within the nexus of the booming trade in the 13th century eastern Mediterranean.
The project takes as its baseline the site of Kinet (Crusader Canamella, Arab al-Tinat), a Mediterranean port on the border between the Principality of Antioch and the Kingdom of Armenian Cilicia. Canamella was a Templar port. Kiln furniture and unfinished sherds of PSS ceramics were recovered from Kinet's medieval levels.
In addition to Kinet, excavated pottery from Antioch and Port Saint Symeon has been analyzed, allowing for the isolation of chemical signatures for three production centers. The data set of excavated material has been expanded to unprovenienced ceramics in museum collections. To date, PSS vessels in Dumbarton Oaks, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the David Collection, and the Freer Gallery of Art have been sampled. Based on a comparison of the clay from these vessels, attributions have been made to different production centers.
In this way, the study of archaeologically provenienced ceramics and chemical analysis are helping to localize one category of medieval artefact, opening the door to grounded discussions of cultural meaning and interaction.
A Hoard of Byzantine Pentanummi
Peter Lampinen (Combined Caesarea Expeditions)
A newly discovered hoard of over 1000 Byzantine bronze 5 nummium (pentanummi) pieces originated in the Syria-Palestine region. Hoards consisting solely of small denomination Byzantine bronzes are scarce in their own right, and this find reveals some very unusual features in addition.
The coins are of a familiar type, with right facing bust of the emperor on the obverse and XP (Chi-Rho) monogram with denomination on reverse. The type was struck by three successive emperors in the 6th century, Anastasius I, Justin I and Justinian I up to 538 AD, the year of Justinian's coinage reform. This hoard shows anomalous features, most notably unrecorded stylistic variations and several overstrikes that prove they were in fact struck in the early 7th century, most likely during the reign of Heraclius. The suggestion is made that they are local productions of the Syria-Palestine region in the chaotic interval between the Persian and Islamic incursions.
Reasons will be offered for the re-introduction of a coin type after a nearly one hundred year hiatus, and the problems that ensue for the archaeologist using numismatic data for dating purposes.
Interpretation of Texts
Chair: Sarolta Takacs (Rutgers University)
Cult and Competition:
Textual Appropriation in the Fifth-Century Life and Miracles of Thekla
Scott Johnson (Oxford University)
In this paper I relate some preliminary conclusions from my D.Phil. research into the fifth-century Life and Miracles of Thekla. Principally, I try to demonstrate that the portion of the work dedicated to the Life was composed as a unit with the Miracles and was designed to be read as such. In support of my argument I make a brief comparison between the biographical elements of the Life and Miracles and the contemporary rewritings and translations of the second-century Acts of Paul and Thekla. Even though Stephen Davis in The Cult of St Thecla (Oxford, 2001) has recently analyzed these texts in the context of pilgrimage activity in Seleucia and Egypt, no detailed study has yet been made on the way the Acts was received in the fourth and fifth centuries. I argue that the Life and Miracles reveals its author not only as competing for episcopal preeminence with the official ecclesiastical establishment of Seleucia÷a fact emphasized by the text's editor Gilbert Dagron (Vie et Miracles de Sainte Thcle, Brussels, 1978)÷but also as competing textually with other lives of Thekla, whose cult was being appropriated at this time by a number of textual communities (in Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere in the East). By rewriting the story of Thekla's life and by situating her post-mortem miracles in Seleucia, the author of the Life and Miracles was claiming both textual and locative priority in the spectrum of texts and places devoted to Thekla. On the basis of this evidence I also venture some general conclusions on the reception of early-Christian apocryphal texts in Byzantine literature.
This paper stems from a broader interest in miracle collections in late antiquity. There are nine such collections in Greek which all concern a different saint and extend in date from the fifth to the eighth centuries. My D.Phil. thesis is an attempt to consider these catalogues as one dossier of texts, dependent upon one another for their individual textual evolution, but more importantly, dependent as a group upon certain social and religious assumptions about the importance of locality for the reception of the miraculous. In this paper I compare other, contemporary miracle-collecting activity by Christian writers in the East and West to further contextualize the Life and Miracles of Thekla. The miracle collections of Augustine and Gregory of Tours, for example, both show similar tendencies toward emphasizing local details in order to legitimize the supernatural activity they record.
While the paper described here is concerned primarily with the textual transmission of the lives of Thekla, I suggest further avenues of inquiry and comparison based upon my broader field of research. I hope to get feedback from Byzantinists working on saints' lives that contain stories of miracles within their narratives: such texts provide a necessary framework for looking at miracle collections as a literary phenomenon in their own right.
Recovering a Byzantine Author: Sophronius of Alexandria
John Duffy (Harvard University)
Compared to his well-know namesake -- the seventh century patriarch of Jerusalem --, Sophronius of Alexandria barely hangs on to existence in the realm of scholarship. This second and later Sophronius was patriarch of Alexandria for almost twenty years in the ninth century (841-860), but is now little more than a name, as a glance at the standard reference works will quickly confirm. Indeed, apart from the two instances we will mention, the rest is largely silence. Hunger's Die hochsprachliche profane Literatur der Byzantiner (II, 14) makes a one-line passing remark on his grammatical work, while Beck's Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich (p. 496), with almost equal brevity, simply records that a lost treatise by him on icon veneration is known only from a citation in a Christian Arabic chronicle of the later ninth century.
Recent developments should change that situation considerably.
Among the sensational 1975 Greek manuscript finds at Mt. Sinai are thirteen parchment leaves (9th-10th cent.) preserving parts of the first five books of the Iliad and accompanied by an interlinear exegesis under the name of Sophronius. These materials are being prepared for publication by Professor Nikolopoulos in Athens.
Less spectacular in detection, but obviously of no less importance, is the revelation that the treatise on holy icons has been lying for centuries, dormant and more or less totally unnoticed, in a thirteenth century manuscript currently housed in the British Library. And what is more, immediately following that work is a second document on the same subject with the title: Tou makariou Sophroniou patriarchou Alexandreias peri ton pansepton eikonon kata antithesin kai antiphrasin. I have now begun to prepare the first edition of these two texts for the Greek series of the Corpus Christianorum and my talk presents a preliminary report on progress made to date. I pay particular attention to issues such as the general style and content of the argumentation and to the place that Sophronius' treatises might occupy in the larger context of iconodulic writings.
The Sarcophagus of Basil II (d. 1025)
Paul Stephenson (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
The mortal remains of Eastern Roman emperors were, as a rule, installed within the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. There were exceptions to this rule, often not at the dead emperor's choosing. A notable exception was Basil II, who chose to be buried outside the city's walls, in the church of St. John the Evangelist at the Hebdomon Palace complex. Clearly, this was not through lack of space at Holy Apostles, since there was room enough, or just about, within the Mausoleum of Constantine the Great for the sarcophagus of Basil's younger brother, Constantine VIII (d. 1028).We are informed of Basil's choice in a number of sources, the most important of which is the emperor's own epitaph, originally an inscription associated with his sarcophagus. This epitaph, reproduced and translated below, also provides the basis for a plausible explanation for his self-imposed isolation, which we will outline.
∞ììïé íbî ììï˘ù ôî �Àìáé -áóéì¥"î Other past emperors previously
áôï ù �òïáæñòéóáî åù ôáæcî ôﬁ�ï˘ù¯ designated for themselves other burial places.
çg Åb µáóýìåéïù, �ïòæ½òáù çﬁîïù, But I, Basil, born in the purple chamber,
´óôèíé ô½íïî î ôﬁ�Ö" çƒù ^∂Åﬁíï˘ place my tomb on the site of the Hebdomon
ëád ó᭭áôý˙" ô‡î ˆíåôòÑô"î �ﬁî"î and take sabbath's rest from the endless toils
ï≈ù î íÀøáéù óôåòçïî, ï≈ù ëáòô¥òï˘î. which I satisfied in wars and which I endured.
ï çÀò ôéù årÅåî òåíïî íeî Åﬁò˘, For nobody saw my spear at rest,
æ\ ïy áóéìåfù ïòáîî ë¥ëìèë¥ íå from when the Emperor of Heaven called me
áôïëòÀôïòá çù í¥çáî áóéì¥á, to the rulership of this great empire on earth,
ìì\ çò˘�îî ±�áîôá ôeî ˙"ù øòﬁîïî but I was vigilant through the whole span of my life
^°ñíèù ôa ô¥ëîá ôù î¥áù ò˘ﬁíèî guarding the children of New Rome
•ôb óôòáôå1⁄2"î ˆîÅòéë‡ù �òeù ó�¥òáî, marching bravely to the West and
ôb �òeù á?ôïfù ôïfù 'òï˘ù ôïfù ôù ≤". as far as the very frontiers of the East.
ëád íáòô˘òïóé ôïôï ¦¥òóáé ëád úë½ıáé, The Persians and Scythians bear witness to this,
ófî ïxù \∞áóçﬁù, \πóíáÑì, ∞òá³, πèò. and along with them Abasgos, Ismael, Araps, Iber.
ëád îî òî, îıò"�å, ôﬁîÅå ôeî ôÀæïî And now, good man, looking upon this tomb
åøá ù íåýï˘ ôaù íaù óôòáôèçýáù. reward my campaigns with prayers.
S. G. Mercati, "Sull'epitafio di Basilio II Bulgaroctonos," and "L'epitafio di Basilio Bulgaroctonos secondo il codice Modense Greco 144 ed Ottoboniano Greco 324," in his Collectanea Byzantina, II (Bari, 1970), 226-31, 231-4; J. Ebersolt, Mission archologique de Constantinople 1920 (Paris, 1921), 1-27; P. J. Thibaut, "L'Hebdomon de Constantinople. Nouvel examen topographique," EO 21 (1922), 31-44; Th. Makridy [= Makrides] & J. Ebersolt, "Monuments fun?raires de Constantinople," BCH 46 (1922), 363-93; Th. K. Makrides, "To Vyzantinon Evdomon kai ai par'autoi Monai," Thrakika 12 (1939), 35-80; J. Demangel, Contribution ˆ la topographie de l'Hebdomon (Paris 1945), 1-2, 53-4.
Women and Byzantium
Chair: Alice-Mary Talbot (Dumbarton Oaks)
The Case of Iusta Grata Honoria and Imperial Women in Late Antiquity
Ian S. R. Mladjov (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Though still greatly restricted by their social environment, imperial women in the Late Empire loom considerably larger than their predecessors. The career of Iusta Grata Honoria embodies the prospects open to imperial daughters by the 5th century. Among the women of the Theodosian house, Honoria is remembered as a traitor who conspired with the Empire's sworn enemy to exact vengeance on her brother Valentinian III. Honoria's reputation is based on the testimony of several sources that relate a similar tale but often disagree over its details. Various elements of Honoria's life and its chronology remain open to scholarly dispute and deserve to be considered from the point of view of prosopography.
Honoria was born to Flavius Constantius and Galla Placidia, half-sister of Emperor Honorius, in 417 or 418. In 421 Honorius associated his brother-in-law on the throne, but Constantius III died seven months later. The widowed Augusta Galla Placidia remained influential with her brother until the siblings quarreled in 423. Exiled, Galla Placidia and her two children sought refuge with her nephew Theodosius II, emperor at Constantinople. Later that same year Honorius died in Ravenna and his chief notary Iohannes seized the throne. Theodosius II sent out his generals Ardaburius and Aspar to eliminate Iohannes, and in October 425 Honoria's brother Valentinian III was crowned Augustus.
Honoria became Augusta by mid-426 but only reappears in the sources some fifteen years later, when the poet Flavius Merobaudes described her as the moon reflecting her brother's sunlight. Honoria's fortunes changed in the middle of the century. At about thirty-two years of age, invested with the symbols of imperial power but expected to remain chaste in keeping with the dignity of the court, Honoria was caught in an illicit affair with her procurator Eugenius. Eugenius was executed, while Honoria was deprived of her imperial rank and temporarily banished from court. Whether she was pregnant and exiled to Constantinople as implied by Count Marcellinus is unclear. By July 450, Honoria, betrothed and then probably married to the future consul Flavius Bassus Herculanus, had appealed to Attila to "save her from her brother's power" and "avenge her marriage."
First to learn of this, Theodosius II immediately wrote to Valentinian III, advising that Honoria be turned over to Attila. Valentinian, however, conducted an investigation and denied Attila both Honoria and a share of the Empire. Priscus claims that, at the time, Honoria's life was spared as a gift to her mother. During his invasions of Gaul (451) and Italy (452) Attila repeatedly demanded Honoria as his betrothed÷producing the ring she had sent him as pledge÷and her share in the "royal wealth." We may presume that she was still alive, and the "Honoria question" remained part of diplomacy through 452. Her mother had died in November 450, and with the death of Attila in 453, she may have lost her last protector. If Valentinian was bent on revenge, he was now free to exact it. There is no reason for the man who personally cut down Aetius to have refrained from punishing his rebellious sister. She was certainly dead by May 455, when, on Valentinian's own assassination all the surviving imperial women in Rome became the object of dynastic aspirations.
In addition to having been an unresolved mystery, Honoria's career is significant as testimony to the options open to imperial women in the Late Roman Empire. What Gibbon once termed Honoria's "adventures" illustrate all four careers a daughter of an emperor could pursue in her age. Unlike their predecessors, 4th- and 5th-century imperial women could contract not only the customary unions to members of the elite and/or for dynastic purposes, but now they had recourse to the additional two options of remaining single or marrying barbarian leaders.
In the beginning, while honored with the exalted rank of Augusta, Honoria was supposed to keep chaste and unmarried, following a novel and popular option adopted by imperial families in the 4th century. She spoiled that directive by having an affair with Eugenius. Since Herculanus, to whom she was later betrothed, is described by Priscus as a man of "such good character that he was suspected of designs neither on kingship nor on revolution," we may safely conclude Eugenius and his relationship with Honoria were perceived in exactly the opposite way. Valentinian apparently thought Honoria was trying to raise another man to status of emperor and possibly to replace him. Unwilling to marry the nobleman Herculanus, or seeking revenge after being forced to marry, Honoria turned to Attila. We do not know what she asked of him, but the barbarian king proceeded to present himself as her champion and fianc?. Attila's claim that Honoria be sent to him as his betrothed indicates a real or fabricated attempt at a marriage between a Roman princess and a barbarian king. That Honoria did not marry Attila and may never have intended to do so is of no consequence÷his interpretation of her appeal as an offer of marriage is simply another example of a new option for the marriage of imperial princesses: unlike Honoria, her mother Galla Placidia and her niece Eudoxia did marry barbarian kings. Thus, in an intriguing though unsuccessful career, Honoria epitomizes all four prospects open to a woman of her rank in Late Antiquity, prospects that remained largely unchanged until the age of the Komnenoi.
The Literary Structure of Prokopios' Secret History: A New Explanation
Anthony Kaldellis (The Ohio State University)
The Secret History of Prokopios is the most widely read work of Byzantine literature, and probably the single most influential source for the reign of Justinian. In a tone that is sometimes hysterical, it offers a detailed criticism of Justinian's administration, and a behind-the-scenes look at the private life of the court. But historians have been at a loss as to how to approach this text. It resists categorization by genre, and even its fundamental coherence has been questioned. Does it have an underlying structure, or -- as per the current consensus -- is it a hasty selection of information that Prokopios could not include in the Wars?
In this paper I offer a new explanation for the structure and content of the Secret History. Though it does not conform to any known genre, it is fully a literary work, in the sense that the selection, order, and presentation of events is subordinated at all times to specific literary themes. It is the task of the interpreter to discover those themes and explain how the work is structured around them.
For instance, the last part of the Secret History, concerned with financial and administrative issues, is a point-by-point response to Justinian's legislation, particularly the Novels. Many Novels have not survived, but most of Prokopios' text can be matched up with extant laws, often with exact verbal allusions. His purpose is to prove that Justinian did not adhere to the good provisions of his own edicts, or to demonstrate the sinister intent behind other specific edicts. This part of the text is therefore a legal commentary of sorts. This connection has not been seen because historians generally do not read the Novels, while legal scholars are not interested in the literary aspects of the Secret History.
The Secret History deconstructs Justinian's regime on three levels, the third being the legal one. I offer similar arguments about the other two. The first, on Belisarios, has also perplexed scholars: it claims to be about Belisarios, but its protagonist is first Antonina, then Theodora. There is also an extended digression on the king of Persia; does this part of the text have any coherence? I will argue that it is in fact closely structured around the theme of "rule of women," or gynaikokratia. The order of accusations yields an overall argument about the rule of feminine vice, and its effects. The progression of this theme can explain every major aspect of the text, such as selection, order, and nuance.
The Secret History is a carefully written work of literature that follows its own rules, not any formalized genre. By exposing the unity behind its different parts, I hope to provide a new interpretive model for passages that have long interested scholars, such as Prokopios' portrayal of women and his demonization of Justinian.
Theodore Balsamon's Canonical Images of Women
Patrick Viscuso (Independent Scholar)
Canon law often contains legal stipulations limiting the actions of women in order to prevent defilement and impurity. In particular, provisions concerning sexual morality contain detailed descriptions of female anatomy and faculties. This brief study will examine the descriptions of women contained in the writings of the Byzantine canonist, Theodore Balsamon (ca. 1130/1140 - death after 1195) resident at Constantinople during the reign of Manuel I Komnenos.
Balsamon, a chartophylax of the ecumenical patriarchate and patriarch of Antioch, was noted for his commentaries on the received corpus of Byzantine canon law as well as the Nomonkanon in Fourteen Titles. He is also the author of legal treatises and canonical responses dealing with a variety of subjects, including marital issues, abortion, and childbirth. The canonist's works were extremely influential and emerged as a standard source for Orthodox canonists and theologians.
Based on the examination of selected texts, a systematic presentation will be made of Balsamon's scientific and theological thought on women's bodies, cognitive faculties, and spirituality. An analysis will be made regarding the effect of these views on women in canonical legislation. An attempt will be made to determine the limits of the canonist's direct experience of his subject material and the use of literary sources. Among the questions considered will be intended audience and possible criticism of contemporary sexual mores. More general conclusions will be derived on the construction of women in Byzantine social ordering and class relationships affected by gender.
Architecture and Decoration
Chair: Ioli Kalavrezou (Harvard University)
Faces of Stone: Donor Portraits in the Mosaic Floor Pavements of Early Byzantine Palestine
Karen C. Britt (Indiana University)
The prevalence of donor portraits as a standard feature in the adornment of the walls of churches during the Byzantine period is revealed by extant examples in a small number of well-preserved churches as well as by literary and epigraphic sources. The portraits, which often included inscriptions, provide valuable insight into the modes, methods and reasons for the patronage of church construction and decoration. However, issues of patronage in the case of the churches throughout the empire that have been unearthed during archaeological excavations and hence, are in a poorer state of preservation, often remain a mystery. A surprising and unique exception is Byzantine Palestine, where more than a few mosaic floor pavements have been discovered that include portraits of male and female donors. Nowhere else are they such a feature of church floor decoration.
It appears that the donor portraits can be broadly divided into two categories: formal and informal. The formal portraits consist of busts or rigid, hieratic full-length figures. The informal portraits capture the donor engaged in activities of daily life. Interestingly, a combination of the two categories of portraiture can occur in the same mosaic pavement. For example, two intercolumnia pavements in the sixth-century church at Kissufim in the Negev contain portrait compositions; one of the pavements depicts two female busts while in the other a male figure is shown leading a camel. Both portraits have inscriptions that reveal the identity of the figures and, in the case of the informal portrait, this is particularly helpful since without the proper name of the male figure there is nothing to distinguish the subject of this pavement from an ordinary pastoral scene commonly found in the iconographical repertoire of this region.
In this paper, the choice of iconography, compositional arrangement and stylistic details of the donor portraits, along with their inscriptions, are examined in an effort to determine who the donors were, (i.e. clergy, governmental officials, or local aristocracy) and whether the portraits represent only the donors themselves or whether there are instances when the donor commemorated others÷living or deceased. An attempt is made to discern whether the portraits are true likenesses or merely portrait-types. Trends in the placement of the portraits within the mosaic pavement (displayed prominently or relegated to inconspicuous areas) are analyzed in order to ascertain if their locations have any function or significance. The aforementioned areas of inquiry, in addition to an examination of the attitudes of the Church towards art in the written sources, are necessary to gain an understanding of the most important question concerning these donor portraits: how should they be interpreted? Are the portraits examples of aggrandizing memorials or symbols of humility since the images of the donor and his/her family appear on a surface below the feet of the faithful?
A New Group of Middle Byzantine Architectural Sculpture
from Panakton (Boeotia)
Heather E. Grossman (University of Pennsylvania)
The several fragments of architectural sculpture uncovered during recent excavations at the site of Panakton reveal strong stylistic similarities to other works from the regions of Attica, Boeotia. All of the nine works are incomplete, suggesting they are spolia from ancient and earlier Byzantine monuments in the Skourta Plain. This paper constitutes the first public presentation of these materials. As such, it adds new pieces to the relatively small known corpus of archaeologically contextualized middle Byzantine sculpture, and provides further evidence of an atelier working in the Attica-Boeotia region in the later twelfth and early thirteenth century.
The sculpted fragments can be divided into three functional groups: altar table pieces, door jambs, and epistyle fragments, some of which were reused as door lintels at the Panakton site. All of the works were found in or near the late medieval village's church. The first group of nineteen fragments represents at least two bevel-edged slabs, most likely used as the church's altar table and adjacent prothesis table. The second group comprises three non-joining, but identically profiled, sections of door jambs. The remaining pieces comprise seven fragments of epistyles decorated with foliate, guilloche and zoomorphic motifs.
The technique and designs of the carvings closely connect them to the sculpted ornamentation of the katholikon of Hosios Meletios, a church visible from Panakton and an important monastic center in the region. The sculpture from that building has been dated to the twelfth century. Close parallels can also be found in sculpture from the twelfth-century church of Christ the Savior in Amphissa, the twelfth-century katholikon of the Sagmata monastery near Thebes, and from the twelfth-century Hagios Nikolaos sta Kambia, near Orchomenos. Contemporary pieces from Athens, in the Little Metropolis as well as in the collections of the Byzantine and Christian Museum and the Athenian Agora, provide further comparative materials.
The strong comparisons link the Panakton fragments to the twelfth- and early thirteenth-century carving traditions of Attica and Boeotia. Moreover, the atelier patronized by the monastery of H. Meletios and its metochia, recently described by C. Vanderheyde, likely created the majority of the Panakton pieces (for her description see, "La sculpture architecturale du katholikon d'Hosios Meletios et l'emergence d'un style nouveau au d?but du XIIe si?cle," Byzantion 64:2 (1994) 396-402). Though the original context of the pieces cannot be determined with certainty and may only become apparent with further excavation in the Skourta Plain, it seems clear that the pieces are spolia from local monuments and that little new carving was undertaken for the decoration of the church of medieval Panakton. The fragments demonstrate a local taste for spolia from before the Frankish conquest; this choice was likely prompted either by a conscious desire to maintain continuity with earlier, local religious structures, by economic necessity, or some combination of these two factors.
The Use of Relief Sculpture on Late Byzantine Church Faades
Jelena Trkulja (Princeton University)
The use of relief sculpture on Byzantine church faades--from the Justinianic era until the beginning of the Paleologan period--is rather uncommon, and when encountered is applied in a sporadic and unsystematic fashion. A twelfth-century Athenian church, known as the Little Metropolis, exemplifies an uncharacteristically enthusiastic approach to architectural sculpture. In most other monuments sculptural decoration consists of spolia from Late Antique and earlier buildings, or of reliefs that were originally elements of church furniture (parapet slabs, pilasters of the templon screen, etc.). These odd pieces are applied to faades in an arbitrary manner. They are displayed as trophies, ornaments pleasing to the eye, and not as the elements of a coherent decorative program. The church of the Koimesis at Merbaka is the case in point. In some of the Comnenian buildings, sculptural pieces are used to frame windows and doors, but their decorative role ends there. They do not extend to other areas of the walls in a programmatic way.
During the Late Byzantine period architectural sculpture gains prominence, not least because the tradition of stone carving was revived, and original sculpture was used instead of spolia. Frequently combined with ceramoplastic and painted decoration, sculptural decoration becomes increasingly organized.
The differences in local building practices contributed to uneven propagation of the trend. Nonetheless, the increased interest in sculptural decoration is evident in various parts of the Byzantine world: from Bulgaria (the fourteenth-century church of St. John Aliturgitos in Mesembria) to Peloponnesus (Panagia Pantanassa in Mistra, 1428). In the churches belonging to the so-called ÎMorava School', where the tendency was fully developed, the sculpture is organized into a sophisticated decorative program completely integrated with architecture. Moreover, it can be claimed that growing popularity of sculpture was paralleled by increasingly more Îsculptural' treatment of the whole building. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the ÎMorava School' churches.
This paper will offer a unified picture of the development of sculptural decoration over time. It will consider the relationship between sculpture and other forms of external decoration (ceramoplastic, painted), and determine its place in the general decorative scheme. Most importantly, it will show how the evolution of relief sculpture has reflected on the design of façades and appearance of a building as a whole.
Chair: Nancy Ševčenko (U.S. National Byzantine Committee)
Putting Vergil on Display after 476
David H. Wright (University of California at Berkeley)
There are eight surviving ancient codices of Vergil, all from the fifth century, some only fragments, two of them palimpsests, but with careful examination it becomes clear that they were books of very different character, made for different purposes. None has a documented date (now that Alan Cameron has discounted the evidence for the Mediceus) but good evidence from the style of script, colophons, decoration, and illustration places the first around 400 and the last two around 480 and 500 (within a decade or so) [see my recent books on the Vatican and Roman Vergils]. For defining the character of these different books various data are needed, including the approximate reconstructed original size, the ruled area, and the approximate size of the letter M (data to be distributed at the meeting).
Considering the books in chronological order, from such data it is clear that the first two were intended to be held in the lap for reading. Even if the luxurious Vaticanus was very bulky, its page size made it small enough to be held and the pages turned while reading for pleasure, enjoying the illustrations as you came to them in the text. The unillustrated Mediceus is still smaller and easier to hold for reading. The larger Veronensis had an entirely different purpose, for it was designed as a vast repository of scholia, a reference book for special study rather than for continuous reading; it was the kind of book that in the Carolingian era would have been laid out in three columns, as was the Tours Vergil. The more formal Palatinus is significantly larger, probably best read on a table. The Oxyrhynchus fragment comes from a book almost that big but is noteworthy primarily because it is written in tentative Square capitals, the first attempt to introduce into a book the style of grand lettering in imperial inscriptions of former times, such as the bronze letters set in marble on the Arch of Constantine.
The last three books in the sequence (Sangallensis, Romanus, Augusteus), on the other hand, were much too big to hold; they had to be displayed on a stand. One may wonder if such books were actually read, or rather displayed like today's coffee-table book for the admiration of guests. Furthermore, Square capitals in scriptura continua (as in the Sangallensis and Augusteus, with the Oxyrhynchus fragment the only ancient books known to have been written in Square capitals) are intrinsically difficult to read and the large Rustic capitals in the Romanus are so artificial as also to be difficult. Above all, the removal of illustrations from the text in the Romanus made them suitable only for display, and the large initial decoration at the start of every page, even in the middle of a sentence, made the Augusteus specially ostentatious. It is striking that this presentation of the preeminent national poet came towards the end of the fifth century as the last remnants of the Latin Empire collapsed and a Gothic king took control of Ravenna. These extraordinarily luxurious books were nostalgic expressions of longing for the grandeur of the past, returning to the Square capitals of the greatest imperial inscriptions (no longer in use), and including in the illustrations of the Romanus support specifically for pagan traditions.
Iconography and the Question of a Model for the Madrid Skylitzes
Christine Havice (University of Kentucky)
The variety of styles in the Madrid manuscript of Skyltizes' Chronicle has long been studied, most notably by Jos Maria Fernandez Pomar (1964) and then by Andr Grabar (1979). Following an observation by Ihor Ševčenko (1984), codicological analysis of the manuscript reveals that these styles are due to three teams of artists working simultaneously on the manuscript in what we may call parts A, B, and C (corresponding largely to Grabar's stylistic parts AB, C, and D). Codicology has also revealed that the artists working in the Byzantine style of part A labored systematically for the first third of the manuscript, while disruptions in patterns of production in parts B and C suggest less stability as its later portions were illuminated.
Corresponding to these stylistic and codicological divisions in the manuscript are iconographic patterns, some of which have been noted in the literature. What has not yet been recognized, however, is the significance of these variations for the question of whether the Madrid Skylitzes was copied from a model or created new in the twelfth century. Ševčenko argued for the latter, on the basis of formal analyses and comparisons with other twelfth-century illuminated manuscripts in the West. By contrast, Nicholas Oikonomides (1992) pointed out important iconographic details which only a Byzantine artist working in Constantinople itself would know, claiming the Madrid manuscript for the capital. In light of other artistic and paleographic evidence of a Sicilian origin for the Madrid manuscript, I would like to retain the essence of Oikonomides' conclusions by interjecting the Constantinopolitan manuscript as a model then imported to Sicily. If we note that Ševčenko's evidence came largely from part B of the Madrid manuscript, while Oikonomides' from part A, it becomes possible that both were correct.
Examination of the iconography of the miniatures across the three parts of the manuscript confirms that, in part A of the Madrid Skylitzes, the style is indubitably influenced by Byzantium, as is the iconography. In parts B and C of the manuscript, the relationship of miniatures to details in the text is more generic, and the miniatures reveal little or no awareness of iconography or visual conventions characteristic of part A. As one example, the miniature at fol.34v (in part A) represents the Imperials using Greek fire, in conformity with the text, to destroy the anchored fleet of the rebel Thomas. The only other miniature which illustrates an episode where the text specifies Greek fire appears on fol.226v, at the end of part C: The artist represents a naval battle but omits the "liquid fire" specified even in the accompanying inscription. From this we may posit that the artist had no miniature with details such as found in part A and so worked from the text, creating a generic battle scene without the dramatic detail. To establish this pattern of variation across all three parts of the Madrid Skylitzes, this paper also re-examines the image of the enthroned basileus.
This paper suggests that the team of artists responsible for part A of the Madrid Skylitzes had before them an illuminated book -- logically, the manuscript from which the scribe had copied the text, the manuscript Oikonomides' artist had illumined in the capital -- which was not used by the artists of parts B and C, for reasons that have yet to be understood. If such is the case, it also means that the Madrid manuscript is not homogeneous, and that any discussion of its miniatures must take into account varying iconographic traditions and narrative strategies across its three parts.
Un-orthodox Imagery in the Madrid Skylitzes
Elena N. Boeck (Yale University)
The 574 surviving illustrations of the Madrid Skylitzes provide rich scenes of imperial, civic, and military life in the Byzantine empire. But are they Byzantine images? While several previous studies have posited that the Madrid manuscript is a copy of a Comnenian original, this study argues that the iconography of the visual narrative, even images in the so-called Byzantine hand, is too un-orthodox to be considered an imperial commission.
The presentation of Iconoclasm in the visual narrative casts considerable doubt on the manuscript's presumed imperial origin. Not simply is Iconoclasm presented in a misunderstood and misguided manner, but the imagery in several specific cases is clearly un-Orthodox. The most glaring example of this is the fact that John the Grammarian is often depicted with a halo and is in no way distinguishable from his Iconodule enemies. How could a Byzantine patron have approved of image after image in which the arch-villains of Byzantine history, Iconoclast emperors and patriarchs, are assigned symbols of sanctity? Both groups were clearly anathematized and damned in the various compilations of the Synodikon of Orthodoxy. During the time in which the Skylitzes is presumed to have originated as an imperial commission, the Bogomils resurrected the Iconoclast controversies.
Given the circumstances of the reign of Alexios Komnenos, it seems highly improbable that images favorable to Iconoclasts could have been produced at that time. Anna Komnena devotes a considerable portion of Book 15 to her father's crushing of the Bogomils. We know that Alexios revised and updated the Synodikon and personally interrogated Bogomils. Euthymios Zigabenos specifically links the Bogomils to the Iconoclasts saying "they [the Bogomils] banish all pious emperors from the fold of Christians, and they say that only the Iconoclasts are orthodox and faithful, especially Copronymus." It seems unlikely that an imperial workshop could have produced images so insensitive to such a burning issue for both imperial and Church leaders.
The construction of the visual narrative, the process of selecting and excluding episodes from the chronicle when planning the iconographic program, also exposes evidence of desacralization. A sequence of six images illustrates an incident in which Iconodule Patriarch Methodios is accused of illicit intercourse. In a rare use of nakedness in the manuscript, an image depicts the patriarch displaying his lack of genitals in front of empress Theodora. In this specific case, an image of public humiliation was chosen to be highlighted, while the concomitant miracle recounted in the text, in which St. Peter himself withered the genitals of Methodios to save him from carnal desire, is excluded. The detached view of history that this image embodies is just a small, but glaring, example of the overall cultural ambiguity of the visual narrative.
In sum, rather than a regal representation of reality, the visual narrative presents a voyeur's view of Byzantine history. Rather than grope for explanations of the perverse peculiarities in order to make it fit into a Byzantine context, it would be better to devote more attention to the manuscript's ambiguous identity.
Gifts and Diplomacy
Chair: Sarah Bassett (Wayne State University)
Questionable Gifts: Constantine VIII and Relics of the True Cross
Lynn Jones (Independent Scholar)
According to a legend formulated in the late fourth century the True Cross was discovered in Jerusalem, then part of the Byzantine Empire, by Helena, mother of Constantine I. The agent, site and circumstance of this discovery established Byzantine control of the Cross. It was a Byzantine practice to distribute fragments of the Cross, often enclosed in Byzantine-produced reliquaries, to foreign rulers, dignitaries and religious officials to reward orthodoxy, confirm the political legitimacy of the recipient or promote one individual or dynasty over another. Some emperors made the distribution of Cross relics a key weapon in their diplomatic arsenal÷Justin II, for example, distributed fragments of the Cross enclosed in sumptuous reliquaries to Radegund and the new Pope John, among others. The imperial court controlled distribution of these relics; for much of the medieval period other Christian cultures could obtain fragments of the Cross only from Byzantium.
This paper examines textual accounts describing gifts of the True Cross presented by the emperor Constantine VIII to Norman noblemen and clergy. These accounts are found only in Norman sources; to my knowledge none of the relics that they describe survive. I examine the textual traditions describing these gifts and compare the written descriptions of the relics to surviving contemporary examples. I argue that only one of the tales is credible. I suggest the second served to boost the prestige of the supposed recipient and to attach an imperial provenance to a relic that did not originate in Constantinople. I demonstrate that the third account, which was not recorded until the second half of the twelfth century, reflects the shifting view of Byzantine power and prestige by those now involved in the Crusades. In this account the imperial provenance of the relics is less important than a vision which provides a Norman count with divine approval of his plans to acquire the relics and to take them from Constantinople by subterfuge.
Constantinople, Siena, and the Polesden Lacey Triptych:
An Angevin Commission for a Crusader Empress
Rebecca W. Corrie (Bates College)
In its 1994 exhibition of Byzantine art, the British Museum brought a spectacular and intriguing tabernacle to scholarly attention. Clearly made for personal devotion, it resides today in the collection at Polesden Lacey in Surrey. Owing to its combination of Greek and Latin saints and Byzantine and Italian stylistic elements, Mojmir Frinta had earlier attributed the image of the Virgin and Child with scenes and saints to the Dalmatian coast. But Maria Vassilaki and Robin Cormack, who wrote the 1994 entry, identified a Byzantine origin for one of the two hands, and wisely attempted a more precise localization, proposing even the possibility of Constantinople. In this paper, I follow their preference for a more precise localization, but with a somewhat different result, for I think that a close look at its likely client as well as its prototypes, identifies this work as the collaboration between Byzantine and Sienese painters at Siena in the second decade of the fourteenth century.
At the outset, astonishing matches between our tabernacle and several others produced by the Ducciesque painters identified as the Monte Oliveto Master and the Masters of Tabernacles 35 and 39 encourage this hypothesis, matches not only in format, but in the Virgin herself, her throne, and her throne cloth. At the same time, the saints arrayed around the central portion argue that the triptych was intended for a female member of the Angevin dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Naples, while carrying out a policy aimed at asserting control over the Crusader states between 1267 and the later part of the fourteenth century. Indeed, these saints point to Siena, the house of Anjou, and the Crusader states, for we find on the right Saints Francis, Dominic, and Louis of Toulouse, along with Nicholas, John the Baptist, and Anthony Abbot. To the left is a similar array: Saints George, Cosmas and Damian, and Michael. Several of the male saints appear in distinctly Byzantine form. But it is the four female saints who may be most significant. Centered beneath of the Virgin are Saints Lucy and Mary Magadalen, as they appear in Sienese images, and Saints Theodosia of Constantinople and Catherine of Alexandria in Byzantine form. But I think we can get still closer to the events surrounding the production of this tabernacle. In 1993 Hayden Maginnis provided Siena's Tabernacle 35 with a thoroughly convincing client, the son of Robert, King of Naples, Peter of Anjou, who was in residence in Siena in 1314 and 1315, along with his brother Philip, Prince of Taranto. Philip had just married Catherine de Valois Courtenay, titular Empress of Constantinople, through whom the Angevins hoped to claim an increasingly elusive Crusader kingdom, and she is a likely recipient for the Polesden Lacey Triptych. Certainly it remains tempting to place the production of this triptych in the East, identifying it as a Greek copy of a Sienese tabernacle. But the apparent inclusion of a Sienese hand in the painting of the saints and the itinerary of our Angevin princes suggest instead the presence of a Greek painter in Siena, along with the many historical and methodological considerations such a localization might entail.
Bride, Book, and Visuality
Cecily J. Hilsdale (University of Chicago)
Study of Vatican Greek manuscript 1851 poses a methodological problem for art historians, philologists, and historians alike not only because of the absence of proper names on any of the surviving folia but also because the images find few parallels for comparison. It is modest in scale yet highly sumptuous, and tells the story of the arrival of a western princess to marry a Byzantine porphyrogenitos. Each page, rich in visual and textual narrative, reveals much about social values, perceptions, and expectations of brides and foreignness in the Byzantine world. Scholarly attention, however, has almost entirely concerned issues of chronological identification ö an issue that certainly merits close and careful attention, but should not preclude other interpretive strategies.
Regardless of chronology, it is clear that both the text itself and the accompanying miniatures were intended for a bride, and in particular a western bride, as noted by Hans Belting in 1970. My analysis of the relationship between word and image demonstrates that the message of the manuscript would be comprehensible to a newly arrived foreign bride with little to no knowledge of Greek. The pages visually and textually tell us of her long journey, of the honor accorded the various messengers, and her reception in Constantinople and integration into the imperial family. Notions of inclusion and transformation dominate the narrative and set the pace or tempo of the story.
In the Vatican codex, we find a visual evocation of the ideal diplomatic marriage, not an attempt to mirror reality but a didactic projection of expectations. The narrative structure of the manuscript represents the proper or ideal social structure of incorporation. It emphasizes total inclusion, transformation and final fully-integrated display, thus stressing her transformation from western to eastern. My paper, after considering chronological issues, explores the implications of the bride and the book and the complex kinship relations set off by their exchange. I argue that the book intimately stresses the bride's new identity, slowly leading her through a web of Byzantine expectations.
Byzantine Identities I
Chair: Elizabeth Bolman (Temple University)
Unpacking the Darmstadt Casket
Alicia Walker (Harvard University)
A group of four, c. tenth- to eleventh-century ivory panels in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany (Kg. 54:215 a-d), indicate by their consistent size, common framing elements, and stylistic comparability that they originally adorned the same wooden-core box. A now-lost, presumably ivory lid would have provided a fifth plaque for this set. The two long plaques of the group are each decorated with a series of three vignettes, while the shorter, side panels each depict a single scene. Although the repetition of lattice canopies above each of the eight scenes implies a unified program for the box, the specific nature of its meaning has defied interpretation. Some of the images clearly derive from classical precedents÷such as the heroic deeds of Heracles÷but others refer to late antique and Byzantine types÷such as the generic "Holy Rider." One scene depicts a cross-legged, seated figure familiar from Sasanian and medieval Islamic imagery. This diversity of iconographic references has led one scholar to describe the box as a hodgepodge, that is to say, a grouping of scenes without any unifying theme.
The present paper focuses on the iconographic reading of each of the eight scenes and proposes an integrated meaning for the overall decorative program of this box. Techniques of visual rhetoric apparent in this object are compared to rhetorical strategies that emerged in literature during the middle Byzantine period. In contrast to recent suggestion that this box may have served as a diplomatic gift, it is proposed that the message of this object precluded such use; the Darmstadt Casket was produced for a Byzantine audience and would have been intended to circulate within an elite and erudite social group.
Byzantinizing the Baptistery: From the Holy Land to Parma
Ludovico Geymonat (Princeton University)
Works of art are crucial evidence of the reception and assimilation of features which Western travelers, pilgrims and crusaders were exposed to in Byzantium and the Holy Land. The cycle of paintings in the Parma Baptistery provide a profitable case study ö the extensive material still preserved and the rich literary sources concerning its context allow for a thorough analysis of how the appropriation of Byzantine and Crusader art took place and was implemented in a representative monument of a medieval commune.
The paintings in Parma (Italy), dating from the first half of the thirteenth century, constitute an extensive program including both narrative cycles and rows of figures. Excellently preserved, they cover the huge gothic hall of the late twelfth-century Baptistery. The iconography of several monumental baptisteries from this time is linked to the Holy Sepulcher, and the Baptistery at Parma was built and decorated during a period of intense contact with the Near East. The iconography of most of the figures and scenes, along with some stylistic characteristics and peculiar decorative motifs, can be explained only by a wide-ranging assimilation of Byzantine features. This assimilation is broadly accepted and attested ö the new assessment I make, on the base of a close reading of specific iconographies and stylistic features, is that the Holy Land served as its principal source.
At this time, the powerful medieval commune of Parma was witnessing at first hand some remarkable events: the dramatic rise of the Franciscans, the spread and repression of heretic movements, the power struggle between the Italian communes and the emperor Frederick II, who was definitively routed during his siege of Parma in 1247. Internally, the city was divided by a bitter conflict between the bishop and the developing city-government. These are the circumstances in which the building and the decoration of the Baptistery were carried out, and the backdrop against which we must understand the assimilation of eastern features and iconographies. Significant historical evidence ö regarding the patron, the painter and the intended meaning of the decoration ö provides telling clues about the role and significance of the appropriation of Byzantine art in such a context, and indicates the peculiar use in Parma of imagery taken from the Holy Land.
Orthodox Magic: An Amulet Roll in New York and Chicago
Glenn Peers (University of Texas at Austin)
The amulet roll now divided between the Pierpont Morgan Library (MS 499) and the University of Chicago Library (cod. 125) is an artifact of great interest for several reasons: it is a unique object, to my knowledge, in that it is a non-liturgical roll of some 511 cm in length with a width of 9.3-9.5 cm; on the recto, several Greek texts, including excerpts from the Gospels, the Nicene Creed and Psalms, are gathered, while on the verso a lengthy text in Arabic was written by a non-scribal hand, which records "various magical operations" (according to an early catalogue) and a date of 1363 C.E. (according to a re-reading by Leslie MacCoull); and it is an extensively illustrated roll, with twenty-seven pictorial units on recto and verso.
Yet the roll has largely escaped notice, as its bibliography is limited to an article of 1936 by Sirarpie Der Nersessian and another of 1989 by Isa Ragusa. While highly admirable works of scholarship, neither scholar extended her study to include the unique characteristics of this object. Rather, each focused on the cycle of illustrations that comprises the longest extant cycle of the Mandylion legend. And despite recent energetic interest in the phenomenon of the Mandylion, primarily The Holy Face (1998) and Il volto di Cristo (2000), this roll has subsequently attracted no more than passing mention.
This paper represents an attempt to place that Mandylion cycle within the specific conditions of the roll's creation by focusing attention on the material character of the object and on its purpose as a magical charm. The Mandylion cycle is, as mentioned, extensive, and its inclusion on the roll is due to the widely acknowledged apotropaic character of the two relics of this legend, the Mandylion and the letter of Christ to King Abgar of Edessa. Together the Mandylion and the letter became magical signs placed on liminal spaces, like bases of church domes, lintels of doors and gates to cities, and the letter was carried in amulet forms.
It is the combination of this illustrated legend with the other texts and illustrations within a specifically Arab Christian context that gives the object its special interest. For those reasons, this paper will not only attempt to explain the association of the Mandylion cycle with the other texts and illustrations on the roll, but also offer some explanation of its place within a specific cultural context of fourteenth-century Christians in Egypt. Moreover, the roll represents a unique instance of a balance between orthodoxy and heteropraxy. The texts and illustrations are unobjectionable in their character, but their presentation on an amulet roll and their application to apotropaic ends, as the Arabic text describes, likewise reveals a highly personal element to the commissioning of this object. This paper, therefore, hopes to bring attention to a unique monument, neglected despite its division between two well-known American collections.
In Search of Edessas
Chair: Michael Maas (Rice University)
Edessa on the Front Lines: Rome's Client State in the Third Century
Steven K. Ross (Louisiana State University)
Although it was founded as a city in the post-Alexander period, and figured in the Near Eastern diplomacy of Rome and the Parthians throughout the early centuries of the present era, Edessa in Osrhoene is best known for its role as a seedbed of early Mesopotamian Christianity, as an important Byzantine-era city and later as one of the frontline Crusader principalities. Evidence can now be brought to bear, however, indicating that this small kingdom or "toparchy" was more important, at an earlier date, than has been realized. Edessa was in fact crucial to Roman frontier policy in the Severan and post-Severan period, at a time when the rise of the Sassanid Persian dynasty posed a vital threat to Roman strategic interests.
Under the last king of the native Semitic Abgarid dynasty, Abgar X (a contemporary of Gordian III), Edessa took a leading role in the defense of the northern Mesopotamian district against the Persians, Rome itself being unable to respond quickly enough to prevent a strategic disaster. As can now be shown with near certainty, Abgar X was in fact appointed by Gordian (perhaps in a face-to-face meeting) to a post within the provincial defense structure, which he held simultaneously with his position as monarch of the pro-Roman client kingdom. He lost this post, however, before Gordian returned to the area in person for his fatal confrontation with Shapur I of Persia.
Indications are now emerging that Edessa, which tends to be overshadowed in the pre-Christian sources by its pagan neighbor and rival Harran, may actually have eclipsed Harran by the early third century, and may in fact have played a leadership role in the local context, apart from its relationship with Rome. This paper examines some of the evidence, numismatic and textual, for this early political prominence, which set Edessa on the road to its later importance in the Christian period. Moving beyond the end of the monarchy, we find indicators that Edessa retained its role of importance even as it settled into the character of KOL. EDESSHNWN--"the colonia of Edessa."
The Edessene Background to Chrysostom's Homilies at Drypia:
Ephraim's Carm. Nisb. XLII and the Second Translatio of Mar Thoma
Paul Kimball (State University of New York at Buffalo)
In the wake of Theodosius' victory on the Frigidus in AD 390, Italy's alpine regions attracted an enthusiastic missionary effort, directed at first from Milan and Aquileia, which resulted in two well-known instances of martyrdom in the high valleys of the Alto Adige: that of St. Vigilius of Trento on June 26, 405, and of Vigilius' prot?g?s, Sissinius, Martyrius, and Alexander, three Cappadocians collectively known to the church as the "Anaunian martyrs" on account of the setting of their passio in the Val di Non in May, 397. Vigilius himself took the leading role in promoting the veneration of these newly-minted martyrs until his own death at the hands of the same Alpine sect in the Val Rendena. In 398 he dispatched some of the relics of the Anaunian martyrs with a letter detailing their murder to John Chrysostom, the recently enthroned bishop of Constantinople whom Vigilius had known during their rhetorical studies in Athens. The remains and accompanying epistle were conveyed to the eastern capital by one Jacobus, vir illustris and probably comes; the manuscripts of Claudian's Carm. Min. 50 inform us that he served as magister equitum during Alaric's invasions of Italy in the first decade of the fifth century. Although the PLRE would have Jacobus already installed in this latest office before his embassy, which the PLRE dates to 402-404, J. Vanderspoel has pointed to ambiguities in the wording of Claudian's testimony which suggests that Jacobus escorted the Anaunian martyrs to Constantinople while on an unrelated diplomatic mission c. 400-402, only after which he was awarded his cavalry command.
Vanderspoel's more cautious chronology accords well with the date which K. Holum proposed for two homilies delivered by Chrysostom at the martyrium of St. Thomas at Drypia, some nine Roman miles (13 km) west of Constantinople across the R. Ayamama. The first of the pair is the best known, for in his oration Chrysostom takes pains to single out the participation of the empress Eudoxia, who escorted some unnamed relics to the church of St. Thomas in a nocturnal torchlit procession along the Marmara shore. Holum discussed the text at some length in his Theodosian Empresses (Berkeley, 1982) and determined that Chrysostom authored the homily between January 9, 400 and January 10, 402, i.e. the dates of Eudoxia's elevation as augusta and that of her son, the infant Theodosius II, as augustus. Vanderspoel himself noted the possibility that the anonymous saints conveyed by the empress were the martyrs of Anaunia, as had W. Liebschuetz, although the latter believed the martyr Phokas to be a good candidate as well.
This paper for the special session "In Search of Edessa(s)" elucidates the possible. connections between the ceremony at Drypia and the translatio of Mar Thoma's relics on August 22, 394 from his martyrium outside the Edessa's walls to the cathedral by Bishop Qura (Cyrus) as reported by the Chronicle of Edessa. After considering structural analogues and investigating possible verbal echoes between Ephraim Syrus' Carm. Nisb. XLII and Chrysostom's homily, I examine the eschatological preoccupations latent, to greater or lesser degree, in both texts. Looking to confirm my conclusions in this last line of argument, I draw on examples from the second and less well-known homily delivered by Chrysostom the following morning, and suggest that Chrysostom's extensive treatment of history before Abraham in this second sermon reflects attitudes towards the relation between archaic history and apocalyptic texts produced in Northern Syria during late antiquity.
Leo the Deacon's Military and Religious Digression on Edessa
Frederick Lauritzen (Columbia University)
Leo the Deacon's history describes the military achievements of Nicephorus II Phocas and John I Tzimisces, in Bulgaria and also in Syria. The digression on the invasion of Edessa by Nicephorus II Phocas (963-969) allows Leo the Deacon to play on two very important motifs in his general characterisation of the emperor. He manages to illustrate how he is committed to orthodoxy and to an expansionist policy which reminds one of the Roman past. This is achieved though his description of Nicephorus' attack on the city of Edessa (mod. Sanli Urfa in Turkey) in the Hamdanid Emirate. Here the emperor manages to find a miracle-working relic of which he had heard, namely an image of Christ. This is the only element described of the city attacked. This emphasis on the religious interest of Edessa is also increased by the use of vocabulary which reminds one of the Christological controversies but also the works of the Fathers of the Church.
But this religious tone is not out of keeping with the basically military context in which it is operating. In fact Leo changes the tone of the passage to include words and expressions which are specifically theological, giving Nicephorus an aura of piety. But this is not the only effect which he is trying to convey; Leo also uses a language similar to that of greek historians who tried to describe the expansion of the Roman Empire in order to draw a parallel between the military expeditions of the emperor and those of past generals of the Roman State. These include such authors as Polybius, Flavius Josephus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Arrian and Cassius Dio.
Thus Leo is using a religious and military frame of reference in order to explain Nicephorus' presence in Edessa in 966. This shows how even at the level of a digression, Leo is trying to convey a new way of looking at historical writing in which religion and the military work side by side to achieve common goal, through appropriate echoes of the past.
The Material Culture Of Byzantine Architecture:
The Cases Of Greek Macedonian And Syrian Edessas
Dimitris Drakoulis (Architect MSc, Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
The material culture of Byzantine architecture is examined through four levels of analytical data: buildings, towns and other human constructions on the first level, modes, techniques, materials and tools of construction on the second level, subjects who are creating, using, living and consuming the artifacts on the third level, finally rituals that accompany the building process and form the deeper structures of the non codified ideology of the subjects. The validity of this model is testified in the cases of the two cities with the same name: the Greek Macedonian and Syrian Edessas.
The chronological axis of the study follows the historical foundations of these two eponymous cities, and focuses on the period of their transformation in Byzantine regional cities. The first part deals with the intermediary points of these changes, departing from the Greek Macedonian Edessa, to the Hellenistic "metropolis", later a Roman city (with via Egnatia, the basic road that merges North - West with South ö East), to the regional fortified acropolis with semi-urbanized hinterland of the first Byzantine era. The second part deals with the Syrian Edessa, a Hellenistic colony, later capital of a Parthian kingdom (with a road again that merges South ö East with North ö West) to the "holy" city of Syrian Christianity. In the third part, a comparative analysis of the two cities shows their different fortunes ("tychae") in the context of Byzantine regionalism, the rising of which is seen through the combination of local material and construction techniques and the architectural tradition of the state. The local characters with their strong dependence from the Hellenistic and Roman era are functioning like vehicles of further dependence of the state tradition on its Greek and Roman past. So, the survival of this tradition is not only an effect of central decisions, but also presents serious dependencies on different local architectural traditions.
The result is a further enrichment of the Byzantine Habitat model with the integration of local elements. The choices in these two towns show the modes of constitution of the Byzantine town in general. The Byzantine "official" school, the tradition of the Justinianic "new church architecture" and the appearance of vaulting and, especially, of domes as a common architectural pattern for almost every church, mark clearly this development.
The settlements are described with their material outfit (private, social and religious buildings), their spatial layout and the interrelations between constructed and non-constructed space in the local environment, their sacred topography and rites, cults and other traditional behaviour. Finally, social structure and local history is examined in order to clarify better the vehicles of the architectural messages, the building subjects and their guilds on the one hand, "official" Byzantine architecture and its institutions on the urban level, legislation and aesthetic values on the other.
One additional argument for the persistence of classical architecture in these two local traditions is that the two towns continue their urban presence also in environments that could favour another type of urban development.
History of Byzantine Scholarship
Chair: John Barker (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Byzantinism and Nazism in 1930's and 1940's German Scholarship
David Olster (University of Kentucky)
Hitler, who fondly imagined that future generations would be guided by his every thought, had his dinner conversations stenographically recorded for posterity. In the course of his wide-ranging discourses, he several times lights on the emperor Julian the apostate, partly for his opposition to Christianity, but also for his putative opposition to the Jews. His view of Julian arises, I would suggest, from his awareness of contemporary German scholarship, and in particular, J. Vogt's work, Kaiser Julian und das Judentum. Hitler was not a scholar, and I do not suggest that he was an avid reader of German Byzantine scholarship. Nonetheless, his table-talk reveals the interplay between Nazism and one of the great schools of Byzantine scholarship.
Few schools of Byzantine history have produced scholarship at once so technically proficient and so ideologically driven as German scholarship from the mid-1930's to the end of the Second World War. Among the great scholars of this period stand Treitinger, Ensslin, Vogt, and above all, Doelger, who must be considered one of the greatest Byzantinists of all time. But the mix of contemporary political ideology and historical vision produced such curious works as Doelger's Die Europaische Staatsordnung, whose presentation of Byzantium as the bearer of the classical tradition, the cultural guide to the untutored west, and the protector and imperial master of the Slavs must inevitably draw comparisons with the European "New Order" of Germany's brief hegemony at the beginning of the 1940's. Similarly, Treitinger, who lost his life on the eastern front, argued that the decline of Byzantium was brought about by its "mixing with Slavs," embracing a fundamental precept of Nazi racial theory. This study will examine the interplay between historical context and historical analysis in the German scholarship of the Nazi era, and the manner in which experience served as a cognitive filter of scholarship.
This conflation of past and present (that characterizes every generation of historical scholarship, not the Germans alone), reveals the profound (and occasionally bizarre) relationship between scholarship and the political imagination. The assimilation of a culture's dominant discourse is hardly limited to these scholars, and they serve as a methodological example for the examination of other scholars and schools of scholarship, and perhaps, even ourselves.
Clyde Pharr and the Women of Vanderbilt:
The Translation of the Theodosian Code in Mid-Twentieth Century America
Linda Jones Hall (St. Mary's College of Maryland)
Austin, Texas, is listed below the signature of Clyde Pharr in his introduction to his magisterial translation of the Theodosian Code, published at last in 1951, after decades of work on the project at Vanderbilt University. Pharr, whose editions of Vergil and Homer, have assisted many students in mastering classical Latin and Greek, made his most lasting contribution to academe through the carefully annotated and edited translation of Roman laws set forth from the time of Constantine to the reign of Theodosius in the fifth century AD. Pharr's translation is the unrivalled authority for numerous books and articles published today in such fields as jurisprudence and social history, particularly relating to Late Antiquity.
Although the laws in the Theodosian Code offer a window into the Late Antique era, on topics ranging from slavery to marriage, from shipping to tax-collection, the story of the translation of the Code into English opens another kind of window into the academic culture of 1930s through 1950s. Pharr credits two editors for their assistance: Theresa Sherrer Davidson, his associate editor, and Mary Pharr Brown, his assistant editor. Dr. Davidson was not only a classicist, but also a lawyer and the wife of the distinguished Fugitive poet, Donald Davidson. Mary Brown Pharr had been a young graduate student involved in the project who married her mentor, and in the end, she was the only one to follow Pharr through the whole project.
Pharr acknowledges the help of his graduate students, the great majority of whom were women, and some of whom went on to earn doctorates. Such acknowledgment would not seem unusual, but at this time, at Vanderbilt there were policies in place which limited the enrollment of women to only a fraction of the male students. The Board of Trust minutes from this time affirm that during World War II, "exceptions" were made to admit relatively more women to the university.
In this paper, I will lay out the process by which the Code was translated into English, and the intentions of the translation committee. I will also demonstrate that various "books" of the Code appear to be almost entirely the work of female graduate students who published their translations as dissertations and theses. Although their names are mentioned in the preface to Pharr's translation, the extent of our debt to them has never been fully discussed. In the final analysis, Pharr deserves credit for his determination to bring this project to completion, often without appreciation or support from Vanderbilt. In fact, he has been criticized in the histories of Vanderbilt for focusing on Roman law at the expense of more exciting literary topics. Moreover, the unsung accomplishments of the women who assisted him deserve our attention today as well. The great irony lies in the fact that women who normally might not even have been admitted to Vanderbilt were closely involved in one of the most important scholarly projects to have ever come out of an American institution, marked by its rather late acceptance of women and minorities in more equitable proportions in the 1960s and 1970s.
Literature and Performance
Chair: George Majeska (University of Maryland)
Identity in Rhythmic Meter between Ancient Greek Poetry
and Byzantine Hymnology<
Nick Giannoukakis, University of Pittsburgh (Independent Scholar)
Byzantine hymnology consists of two elements: music and poetry. As early as the 2nd century C.E., a co-evolution occurred demonstrating increased complexity in musical structure but more poignantly, in poetic structure and composition. This evolution, from the poetic standpoint continued well into the 16th century. Despite some significant changes, the hymnographic structure that remained unchanged from the 7-8th century onward was the Canon. Generally-described as a poem consisting of a number of odes each bound together by a unifying theme, each ode of a Canon was musically and rhythmically modelled after a melodic and poetic prototype called a prologos. In the case of the Canon, the eirmos. A study of the rhythmic meter of the eirmos hymns of Byzantine hymnography will reveal a remarkable identity between them and the rhythm and meter of ancient Hellenic poetry.
This essay will demonstrate that a number of prominent eirmos hymns that are regularly encountered during the ecclesiastical year in the original ecclesiastical Greek texts are identical in rhythm and meter to passages from the works of Euripides and Homer.
While the exact reason(s) for this practice by the Byzantine hymnographers including St. John of Damascus is/are not evidently clear, the era in which the first such hymns first appeared suggests that the practice may have been one of several methods to attract non-Christians of the late Roman Empire and early Byzantium with the objective of their full conversion to Christianity.
Liturgical Performance and the Formation of Christian Identity
in the Age of Justinian
Derek Krueger (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
The performance of ritualized religious activities contributed to the formation of Christian lay identity as sixth-century Christians engaged in asceticism, veneration of saints, festal vigils, liturgy, and pilgrimage. In addition to the better-known synthesis of an imperial Christianity, expressed grandly in architecture, art, and church plate, the age of Justinian saw the expansion of many popular forms of pious practice. In contrast to the conscious novelty of fourth‑century piety, the sixth century saw the routinization of Christian practice as a feature of Byzantine culture.
The category of performance as theorized by Pierre Bourdieu and Catherine Bell affords insight into how popular liturgical practices employed biblical typology to articulate and maintain norms for Christian self-understanding. The festal hymns of Romanos the Melodist in particular demonstrate how the emerging office of the night vigil provided opportunities for Christians to enter into the drama of the liturgical calendar. Romanos employed dialogues between Jesus and various biblical interlocutors to frame idealized relationships between Christians and Christ, inserting the community into the biblical narrative. His dialectical method is especially apparent in the hymns dedicated to Holy Week.
Moving beyond older religious-studies models that stress the correspondence between myth and ritual, performance-studies approaches allow emphasis to fall on the ways in which these mythic ritualizations effect the production of Christian modes of being, cuing appropriate emotions and habits in response to the dramatization and rehearsal of the Christian story.
In order to place the achievements of Romanos' methods in larger context, one earlier and one later text are considered. The earlier sixth-century mystical reflections of the author know as Dionysius the Areopagite (before 513), advance an understanding of baptismal ritual as a reenactment of the baptism of Christ. The evidence of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy demonstrates an indigenous, early Byzantine theory of ritual performance which stresses liturgy as mimesis of biblical narrative. The patriarch Eutychius probably introduced the antiphon usually known to liturgical historians by its Latin name, Cenae tuae, to the liturgy for Holy Thursday in the 570s. Here congregants were encouraged to approach the eucharistic table by inserting themselves into the biblical narrative by taking the part of the thief, rather than Judas. This typological self-positioning employs performance as a technology through which Christians might conform themselves to appropriate biblical models.
Picturing the Process of Writing: The Virgin as the ÎMuse' of Poetic Inspiration
Bissera V. Pentcheva (Columbia University)
The apse mosaic in Hagia Sophia featuring the enthroned Virgin and Child has traditionally been viewed as a symbol of authority linked to the Church. In addition to power, the representation reveals the perception of Mary as the throne of wisdom depicted in the sacred space dedicated to Holy Wisdom. The apse mosaic thus offers a visual manifestation of the process of creation and writing, related to birthing, where the ineffable divine wisdom acquires a material form in the shape of the Child. The enthroned Virgin and Christ can be read as a visual symbol of poetic inspiration. This perception of the image most likely gained further prominence when the new center of learning, the Cathedral School, was established in Hagia Sophia in the twelfth century. In addition to the apse mosaic, many other representations of the Virgin and Child were viewed in a similar way as markers of the process of artistic creation through the body of Mary giving birth to the Logos. The perception of writing as an act of birthing suggests a parallel to the construction of female rhetorical gender manifested in the work of Michael Psellos. By focusing on representations of the Virgin and Child in mosaics, frescoes, miniatures, and ivories in Constantinople from the eleventh to the twelfth centuries, this paper will explore how Mary came to be perceived as the Îmuse' of poetic inspiration, triggering the process of writing.
A Few Remarks On The Definition Of Byzantine Theatre
Przemyslaw Marciniak (University of Silesia, Poland)
In my paper I focus on those issues regarding Byzantine theatre that we have not yet found satisfactory answers for and are to be rethought. Therefore, I discuss the following issues öproblems of the definition of Byzantine religious and profane theatre.
As to the first issue there is no doubt that we can identify some para-theatrical forms in Byzantium or at least texts that seem to have dramatic elements. The situation is slightly different for the eve of the fall of Constantinople since we have a few testimonies showing that some sort of liturgical drama might have been performed in Haghia Sophia. The most significant and the only non-liturgical dramatic text that might have been staged, in a way that we used to perceive as common, comes from Cyprus and is rather exceptio than regula. Regrettably the general picture of Byzantine theatre is diversified and, for the most part, unclear.
In my view, misunderstanding comes from lack of clear definition of what religious drama and theatre in Byzantium might be. Students of Byzantine theatre use terms designed to describe Western theatrical activities often forgetting that these definitions vary considerably among themselves (cf. the debate on impersonation and radically different opinions of K. Young and O.B. Hardison) not to mention that they cannot be, in my opinion, used to depict the Byzantine realm.
I endeavor, therefore, to demonstrate that one has to propose a new definition of Byzantine theatre, especially a liturgical one. My main assumption is that an impersonation is not the distinctive feature of Byzantine liturgical theatre, which can be inferred from passages in Libanios, Chrysostomos, and Eustathios of Thessalonika. Therefore I would assume that in some cases liturgy or its part may become a theatre in its primary sense ö a spectacle. Since a performance is acted in Church and for liturgical purposes, it might be described as liturgical theatre.
I am also convinced that we can find traces of Byzantine profane theatre, however very remote from Western ideas of what theatre is. We can state, without any doubt, that Byzantine culture was deeply theatrical, even Byzantines themselves gave proof of such judgement (cf. Leo the Deacon, History, IV,61,44, PG vol.117). Therefore, it seems that we could put an equal sign between various kind of performances, i.e. festivals, imperial ceremonies etc, and theatre.
There is also no doubt that the literary circles, so-called theatra, fulfilled the task of a theatre. Moreover, it might be possible that dramatic texts like Katomyomachia, in my opinion an attempt to vie with an ancient theatre, were intended to be read in these gatherings. I would, therefore, draw a line between a theatre for masses and elitist theatre for Byzantine intelligentsia.
In conclusion, it has to be said that Byzantium possessed theatre; however, like many other things, even its idea had been transformed during the Byzantine period.
Chair: Christopher Lightfoot (Amorium Excavations Project;
The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
The Byzantine Stone-Mason at Work:
New Evidence from the Lower City Church at Amorium
Eric A. Ivison (Amorium Excavations Project, Turkey/College of Staten Island, CUNY)
Excavations since 1990 have revealed the remains of a major ecclesiastical complex in the Lower City of Amorium. Following a disastrous fire, the church was reconstructed as a domed basilica, lavishly decorated with wall paintings, vault mosaics, and an opus sectile pavement. Fragments of an inscribed epistyle from the templon record that a bishop acted as patron of this new church, which was apparently dedicated to a "Prophet of Christ".
Historical, archaeological, and comparative evidence suggests that the reconstruction probably took place between c. 850-950, and on-going studies may well narrow this provisional dating. To date, nearly 200 fragments have been recovered from a major sculptural program specially commissioned for the new church. These include architectural pieces, such as string courses, cornices, and re-worked column capitals, and the liturgical furnishings of the templon and ambo, which can be reconstructed on their preserved foundations. Unlike most middle Byzantine sculptures, the carved surfaces of the Amorium stones survive in almost pristine condition, thus preserving rare evidence of the techniques employed in their production. Beyond presenting the Amorium sculptures to a wider audience, this paper therefore seeks to reconstruct how middle Byzantine stone-masons went about their work.
The Amorium evidence demonstrates that the stone-masons worked on stones in successive stages, and that they had at least an elementary training in arithmetic and geometry. Furthermore, the preservation of individual chisel strokes shows that, like painters and mosaicists, the Amorium masons worked freely within and around a preparatory outline. The evolutionary nature of this creative process is also demonstrated by evidence of adaption and alteration in the carving. These techniques created crisp, shallow carving and heavily textured surfaces, but this was not intended as the final effect. The exceptional survival of painted polychromy has revealed that most, if not all, of the sculptures were once painted, thus integrating sculptured surfaces into the mural decoration.
The scale of the sculptural program of the Lower City Church suggests a team of stonemasons rather than a single craftsman. It also seems likely that these masons worked as part of teams of technitai contracted to reconstruct the Lower City Church. The discovery of waste chips from marble working used as packing under the new pavements demonstrates that the sculptures were carved on site during construction. The unity of design and technique would further suggest that the masons worked within a common tradition and a master plan. At present, one can only speculate whether they were local craftsmen or were brought from further afield, but stylistic links with other sites demonstrate that the bishop who commissioned the reconstruction work sought to provide Amorium with a church that emulated the grander ecclesiastical edifices of the empire.
The Mural Decoration of the Lower City Church at Amorium
Johanna Witte-Orr (Amorium Excavations Project, Turkey/Farmington, IA)
The excavation of the Lower City church of Amorium has revealed a large number of fresco fragments, mosaic fragments and mosaic tesserae, all from the decoration of the middle Byzantine church. The decoration of the late antique church that it replaced was lost in the destruction of 838, and except for bracket holes for marble revetments on the lower parts of the north and south aisle walls there are no indications of what this decoration might have been. Considering the size of the middle Byzantine church, there must have been a vast expanse of wall space to be covered with mosaics and frescoes, but unfortunately most have disappeared after the destruction of the church. The remaining fragments reveal fresco and mosaic work of a very high quality. The fact that they are fragmentary allows a detailed documentation of plastering and painting procedures and illustrates an adaptation of such procedures to the special requirements that the architecture of the church posed.
Analysis of the frescoes is complicated by the fact that the middle Byzantine church was partially redecorated in later times. The fresco fragments therefore belong to at least two layers of plaster. The original mural decoration comprised the frescoes of the first layer and mosaics, and we may assume that the mosaics were installed in vaults and dome, as in other churches, although we have no factual evidence for this. Only a small percentage of mosaic fragments and tesserae were found, so it remains unclear what the design was, but there are indications that some mosaics showed figures on a gold background. Some tesserae are made of stone and traditionally stone tesserae are used in faces or body parts. Others have the small dimensions characteristic of mosaic representations of faces and body parts, while a large percentage of the loose tesserae are of gold glass, which was typically used for backgrounds.
In this paper I will sketch a brief overview of the mural decoration and then focus on the artistic importance of the frescoes. Fragments of all layers have revealed interesting iconographical details, such as those of a scroll-bearing figure clad in richly ornamented garments. Several larger fragments, and especially the fresco in situ on the south wall of the church, show enough detail to allow a study and comparison of painting style. The south wall fragment belongs to the group of frescoes painted last, and it can be dated by a comparison of its painting style to other monuments. It shows that the Amorium painters had developed a unique style related more closely to the art of Constantinople than to contemporary frescoes of Asia Minor and Cappadocia in particular.
The Lower City Enclosure Wall at Amorium and What Lies Beyond
Yalın Mergen (Amorium Excavations Project/Dokuz Eyll University, Izmir, Turkey)
Excavations since 1998 have focused largely on a sector of the Lower City at the center of the site. A trapezoidal area, measuring approximately 125 x 90 meters, is now surrounded with a high earth-covered bank, part of which has been excavated to reveal a solid stone wall. While finds from within the wall, including a small hoard of coins, and its stratigraphical relationship to other excavated buildings have given a secure context for the construction of the wall, making its date fairly certain, its purpose remains the subject of discussion.
The thickness and height of the wall indicate its primary function as a defensive feature. As yet no gateway has been found, although about 25 meters of the southeast stretch of wall has been uncovered. The enclosure wall thus represents a major work of construction, which can only have been carried out by the imperial authorities. Its construction radically altered the appearance and layout of the city center, and apparently necessitated the demolition or abandonment of earlier structures. Some buildings, too, were truncated as a result of the construction of the defenses. There is little evidence for similar work elsewhere, at least not in an urban setting, so the enclosure wall at Amorium sheds important new light on imperial building in the middle Byzantine period.
But why were such defenses constructed, and what were they intended to protect? Was the enclosure some sort of fort or mustering-point for imperial troops? Were, in fact, troops ever stationed there, or did it serve as a secure place in which to stockpile stores and supplies? The answers to these and other questions remain to be determined, but it is clear that this middle Byzantine complex served a specific purpose and became a prominent feature of the urban landscape at Amorium.
In 2001 work immediately outside the enclosure wall provided evidence for the nature of occupation beyond the defensive perimeter. Here a rectangular room was excavated, evidently a basement storeroom, and various objects were found lying in situ on the floor. They included an iron sword, a rare example of a middle Byzantine weapon, as well as coarse ware pottery and storage vessels. However, the nature of the deposition of these finds strongly suggests that in its latest phase the storeroom served as no more than a dumping place for discarded items.
As yet it remains unclear whether the enclosure wall or the basement building was erected first, although the evidence points to the fact that both were in use at the same time. Nevertheless, the proximity of such a building to the outer face of the enclosure wall gives some indication of how the defenses were perceived both by their builders and by the civilian inhabitants of Amorium.
Chair: Robert Ousterhout (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
The Church at Choma:
A Revisiting of the Development of the Regional Style
Suna agaptay-Arıkan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
A church building with three distinct phases has been revealed at the mound site of Hacımusalar, in the Elmalı Plain, Northern Lycia, Turkey. The ongoing excavation project in and around the church promises to be an important one that will shed more light on the understanding of Byzantine art and architecture in Anatolia. The Bilkent University excavations have been carried out since 1993 by a team of Turkish and American archaeologists, under the directorship of Prof. Ilknur zgen.
The earliest church is of a basilical plan with a nave and two aisles, with a triconch chapel appended to the end of the south aisle. It may be dated to the Early Byzantine period. The combination of basilica and triconch chapel can be compared to the basilica at Kkburnu and the Church A at Andriake. This phase has revealed a rich collection of finds, including a sixth-century polycandelon, fragments of figural wall painting, and floor mosaic.
The second church appears to have been a triconch structure whose counterparts are found in Dikmen, Alacahisar, Devekuyusu, and Karabel in Lycia. The study of the archaeological evidence supports Harrison (1963) that basilica churches of Lycia pre-date the triconch churches. The second church may perhaps be dated to the Transitional period.
The layout of the third church is a cross-in-square that retains a basilical accent. The main apse is flanked by two smaller apses, one at the end of the each aisle. Among the finds from this phase are a processional cross, chancel barrier fragments and part of an opus sectile floor forming a sunburst pattern. This structure may be attributed to the Middle Byzantine period.
The multi-phase development of the church adds an example to the model proposed by Ousterhout (1995 and 1999) that architectural changes from the Early Christian to the Middle Byzantine periods may be best understood in buildings that were remodeled or rebuilt. In this respect, the Church at Choma can be best compared to nearby sites like Kydna in Lycia, as well as to churches in Selikler (Sebaste) and Amorium in Phrygia. The results from other Byzantine level excavations on the mound as well as textual evidence demonstrate that the third church might have functioned as a parish church, which was maintained by the bishop for public worship.
Judging from the archaeological evidence, the Church at Choma hints at a well-established local workshop, which produced its own decorative program with a rich artistic vocabulary. These results should give a new impetus to the Byzantine archaeology of inland Lycia, which has been dormant since the early 1980's.
Drought and Decline: The Effects of Climate on Byzantine Cyprus
R. Scott Moore (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
Archaeologists have uncovered an amazing amount of archaeological data in the last fifty years that has helped scholars better understand historical trends or periods for which literary sources might be scarce or even totally lacking. Now that this archaeological work has succeeded in its initial goal of helping to construct the basic historical outline, archaeologists have turned from asking Îwhen' an event happened to trying to understand Îhow' or Îwhy' an event, such as social or political change occurred. The large and varied nature of the archaeological data currently available has led scholars to turn to other disciplines for interpretive help.
Paleoclimatology, the examination of past climates, is one such discipline that can assist archaeologists in better understanding the past. There is no doubt that the weather affects humans in their interaction with their environment and that a change in the climate results in changes to mankind's economic and social structures. These climatic changes were initially studied on a broad scale, such as the warming trend that occurred at the beginning of the Holocene and its impact on the development of humans. In recent years scholars have attempted to narrow the focus to shorter chronological periods. One example is the suggestion that the decline of the Byzantine Empire in the seventh century AD was brought about due to a climatic change.
One important aspect of past climates is the occurrence of extreme weather phenomena, such as heatwaves, tornados, hurricanes and droughts. Drought is one of the most significant weather disasters to affect a society's relationship with its environment, particularly agricultural production. It can be localized to a small area or affect a large geographical region and last for weeks, months or even years. Severe droughts can have a significant long-term impact on a region's economy, society and environment.
The eastern Mediterranean basin suffered at different times in its history from droughts of various severities, as it still does today. A close examination of the literary sources for the early Byzantine period finds mention of more than forty droughts. Although drought was a natural weather occurrence in this region, it would have damaged agricultural production and forced the populace to make adjustments, both economically and socially.
To illustrate the value of this interdisciplinary approach combining paleoclimatology with archaeology, the island of Cyprus will be used as a case study to demonstrate the severity of these weather-induced accommodations, as well as their impact upon regional and global events. Starting in the sixth century AD, the island of Cyprus underwent a gradual economic decline. This decline has been blamed on the Arab invasions that began in the second half of the seventh century. An examination of the archaeological evidence from the island in addition to the climatic information available from literary sources and scientific investigation will show that this economic decline began before the Arab invasions and in fact facilitated the Arab invasions.
Chair: Paul Halsall (University of North Florida)
On the Imitation of Christ, for Cheap Laughs:
The Syriac "Tale of the Mimes" and the Theater in Byzantium
Andrew White (University of Maryland, College Park) and
Cornelia Horn (University of St. Thomas)
Among the more curious aspects of Byzantine cultural history is the genre of "christological mimes," routines performed in public theatres that poked fun at the rites and inspirational literature of the Church. Catechisms, baptisms, even martyrologies were grist for the satiric mill, and actors kept much of the (pagan) empire in stitches with their portrayals of the lifestyle and rituals of the new monotheistic cult. In response to these satires, a new branch of Christian martyriological literature emerged, in which actors became converts to Christianity, and eventually became martyrs, merely through their imitation of Christian rites and behavior.
This presentation will discuss one of the most detailed examples of this unique Christian literary genre, the Syriac Tale of the Mimes (Mimes) as found in MS 75 (Sachau 222) at the Orientabteilung, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Mimes purports to tell the true story of an entire company of mimes, who in the course of their satiric performance of the Christian mysteries of baptism and eucharist convert to Christianity. The conversion of a few members of the company, between skits and in front of a live audience, causes great consternation for their benefactor, a certain King Igorius of Oxyrhynchus. The whole company eventually converts, and as punishment King Igorius imprisons them; after a series of failed attempts to convert the mimes back to paganism, the company become martyrs, and angels bring them to their heavenly reward.
Although Eduard Sachau catalogued the text in 1899 and Josef Link shortly thereafter published a brief, descriptive study with a German translation of some excerpts, Mimes has not yet been text-critically analyzed nor fully translated into a modern-day research language. Moreover, there has been no analysis of its theatrical content, especially its account of a Christological mime routine. The curious nature of the text, interspersed as it is with hymns of praise, also raises the question of whether Mimes was written for public performance.
Collaborating with Robert Phenix and Syrian Orthodox members of St. Maron's Maronite Church in Minneapolis, the presenters are currently preparing the first fully edited text and the first English translation of the complete text of this rare story. The first part of this presentation will focus on the Syriac text of Mimes, discussing its style, language, general content, and theological significance. The second part will analyze Mimes from the perspective of Roman and Byzantine theatrical practice, and will explore the possibility that Mimes may be an example of that most elusive cultural object, the Byzantine liturgical drama.
Mimesis yet again in the View of the Past: A Case involving the Use of Glykas
Dean Sakel (Bogazii University)
The twelfth-century Îworld' chronicle of Michael Glykas is usually seen to be the last work of its type from principal Byzantine times. It proved to be immensely popular as can be judged from the number of surviving representatives. Notwithstanding this, and despite the pattern evident from other members of the same literary tradition, no translation into a neighbouring language or any use of Glykas by another writer is known.
A work deriving from soon after the fall of Constantinople is the Biblical Florilegium of Ioannikios Kartanos, a collection of tales centred mostly on biblical themes yet also dealing with later periods. The work is seen to reproduce in large part an Italian work, the Fioretto di tutta la Bibia historiato. There is much material in Kartanos from elsewhere however, much of this falling firmly within the Byzantine chronicle tradition.
Much of this added material is in fact found to derive from Glykas, as a comparison of the two texts will show. Kartanos thus turns out to be, as far as we know, the first and last user of Glykas. Also of interest here is the imposition of the Byzantine historiographic legacy onto material from a Western work. The situation can however be seen from the other way, as an adaptation of the Western material onto the Byzantine framework. The latter case especially could be taken as indicative of perceptions in the follow-up to the end of the Empire, a time when the traditional views of the past are seen to have been largely superceded.
Chair: Robert Allison (Bates College)
De Diversis Artibus: Teaching Byzantium Through Hands-On Art Assignments
Ellen C. Schwartz (Eastern Michigan University)
In this discussion, I present several projects which offer opportunities for learning about Byzantine culture through class art projects.
The first project focuses on the creation of an icon. As one of the quintessential art forms from early Byzantine times onward, the icon allows for consideration of art embedded in Byzantine culture. Discussion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the organization of the church and its rituals will set the stage. Each student will then be asked to create an icon of a person. It could be a teacher in the school, an important political figure, a celebrity. (The core idea for this assignment come from Orelia Dann, high school history teacher at Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.) In the project I propose, students will do research about the iconography of Byzantine icons and the selection of attributes. Preparation could involve reading sections from the Painter's Manual by Dionysius of Fourna on materials and techniques, and discussing iconography and abstraction in Byzantine art. Preliminary sketches can be critiqued in a group, and compared to historic icons for ideas about subject presentation and style.
The actual fabrication of the icon could take many forms. If this project were presented in an art class, preliminary work could compare shading through value (dark/light variation) and color (hot/cold colors) -- the latter a Byzantine development. Studio space and capabilities would determine the media used: students could learn to make tempera paint to apply to paper, panel or plaster; they could make tesserae out of ColorAid paper or ceramic. Gold leaf could also be employed. A simpler piece done with colored pencils could be employed in history classes.
The second project is one inspired by our late colleague and friend, Thalia Gouma-Peterson -- the making of a manuscript. I would turn this into a cooperative project done by the whole class. After discussing traditions of Byzantine manuscript illumination, students would choose the type of manuscript to create and select parts of the project on which they want to work. The class would discuss workshop practices and find sources to copy. On parchment paper, the quires would be laid out; this allows students to learn first-hand how a manuscript was created. Working in teams, students would then create text and illustrations along with covers. Again, elements of the project could be adjusted to the studio spaces and equipment available. Non‑art majors could do calligraphy, binding, etc.
These projects offer a starting point for using art and humanities classes to introduce students to Byzantine culture in creative and interesting ways, and set the stage for an understanding of the importance of art within the Byzantine and all cultural settings.
Teaching Late Antiquity: One Model for Outreach to the Public Schools
Emily Albu (University of California, Davis)
A seminar on the World of Late Antiquity may suggest strategies for Byzantinists interested in outreach to the public schools. Members of the steering committee for the University of California Multi-Campus Research Group on the History and Culture of Late Antiquity (chaired by Claudia Rapp) have offered Saturday seminars for public school teachers in both northern and southern California. I briefly outline the aims and content of our seminars and explain how we attracted our audiences and administered and evaluated the programs.
Late Antiquity I
Chair: Claudia Rapp (UCLA)
Communiceps noster: Romanianus, St. Augustine, and Late Roman Patronage
D. Scott VanHorn (Loyola University Chicago)
Several scholars (James J. O'Donnell, Augustine: Confessions, 1992, II:382; Peter King, ed., Augustine: Against the Academics & the Teacher, 1995, 3 n.8; Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography, new ed., 2000, passim; cf. Aim? Gabillon, "Romanianus alias Cornelius: Du nouveau sur le bienfateur et l'ami de saint Augustin," Revue des tudes augustiennes 24 , 58-70) have linked a building fragment from Thagaste (CIL 8.17226) bearing the name [COR]NELIVS ROMANIANVS with Augustine's long-standing patron. While this evidence has been used to link the "Cornelius" of Ep. 259 to Romanianus (Gabillon, op. cit.), the importance of the nomen Cornelius and its connection to fourth century patronage has received short shrift. I will argue the rarity of the nomen Cornelius during the fourth century (J. G. Keenan, " The Names Flavius and Aurelius as Status Designations in Later Roman Egypt," ZPE 11.1 , 33-63; Cf. Timothy D. Barnes, "Augustine, Symmachus and Ambrose," in From Eusebius to Augustine, 1994, XXII [7-13]) may reveal Romanianus as part of an older, more prominent, and potentially pagan aristocracy negotiating his own clientelae within the traditional frame of amicitia.
During the fourth century, only the province's wealthiest citizens (curiales) could support the demands of local public service, or liturgies (John Matthews, The Roman Empire of Ammianus, 1989, 79-80, 385-9; cf. 273-4; Naphtali Lewis, Life in Egypt under Roman Rule, 1983, 177-84). The minor municipes of many remote interior towns, like Augustine's father, Patricius (municipis Thagastensis admodum tenuis), were hard pressed to maintain their civic duties while providing for their sons' education (Conf. 3.3), and may have turned to their more affluent neighbors for assistance (C. Acad. 2.2.3). In return, powerful men like Romanianus expanded their influence by building these local connections while shuttling between their homes and the imperial court to maintain their interests there (Conf. 6.14; cf. John Matthews, Western Aristocracies and the Imperial Court, AD 364-425, 1975, 183-222).
Connections may have assisted in Augustine's introduction to Symmachus, since such relationships were the foundation of amicitia (cf. Gabillon, op. cit.). By entrusting the education of his son Licentius to Augustine, Romanianus cemented this connection, thereby building his own clientelae. In return for this long-standing patronage that he enjoyed (ab ineunte aetate mihi familiarissimus), Augustine dedicated his philosophic dialogue Contra Academicos to his patron and saw in him the potential to form a new "Academy" (Conf. 6.14). In this way, both sides were willing build alliances with the other for their own respective ends.
Himerius' Constantinopolitan Oration of A.D. 362:
Context, Audience, and Content
Robert J. Penella (Fordham University)
Himerius' Constantinopolitan oration of 362 (no. 41 Colonna) has not been well known or fully exploited. I examine some features of it under the headings "context, audience, and content," correcting along the way a current misunderstanding of what we can safely infer from it about the time of Himerius' arrival in Constantinople and challenging a recent prosopographical hypothesis.
Context: Sometime after his arrival in Constantinople on December 11, 361, the emperor Julian invited Himerius to join him. On his way, Himerius gave orations at Thessalonica and at Philippi (nos. 39 and 40) and then delivered the oration under discussion upon reaching Constantinople. Orations 39 and 40, like 41, praise the city in which they were delivered as well as a number of individuals connected with the occasion of the oration's delivery. Himerius highlights the Hellenism of the three cities, fine-tuning that whenever possible into Atticism. The most remarkable manifestation of this is his claim in Oration 41 that Athens was the mother-city of Byzantium/Constantinople÷a claim also found later in the century in Ammianus Marcellinus (22.8.8).
Audience: The opening scholion to Oration 41 tells us that, upon arriving at Constantinople, Himerius was initiated in the Mithraic mysteries before delivering his speech. There is no evidence that Julian initiated him (pace T. Barnes, CP 82  222, and T. Brauch, Byzantion 63  66-67). It is clear from Oration 41.16 that Julian was not present when Himerius delivered his oration. In fact, Julian may already have left Constantinople, which he did in mid June of 362, before the Athenian sophist Himerius arrived, the latter not having left Athens until the end of the academic year; there is no evidence of the emperor's presence in Constantinople during Himerius' time there. Close attention to Oration 41.1 shows that Himerius' primary audience at Constantinople were his fellow Mithraic initiates.
Content: I examine Oration 41's praise of Constantinople and of two individuals: the emperor Julian, perhaps just recently having ended his Constantinopolitan stay, and the prefect of the city. Most of the praise is routine. The already mentioned claim that Athenians colonized Byzantium/Constantinople is certainly noteworthy. So too is the representation of Julian as a kind of founder or transformative hero of Constantinople; there is just a hint that the inhabitants of the city might want to reassign the city from Constantine to Julian. The unnamed prefect of the city÷it is not clear whether or not he was present for Himerius' oration÷is praised (Oration 41.14-15), but mainly exhorted, which suggests that he was at the beginning of his term. He seems to be a tertius quis between the prefects Honoratus and Modestus. T. Brauch has revived the argument that the Himerian prefect was none other than Themistius (ibid. 37-78). The positive evidence for this view is weak, but there is a strong point to be made against it: Philosophy was central to Themistius' identity, but, in describing the prefect, Himerius says nothing about philosophy. If the Himerian prefect were Themistius, I find it hard to imagine that a reference to his philosophical competence would be missing, especially since Himerius had made the point at Oration 41.12 that philosophy was thriving at Constantinople.
Sacred Space and Authority in the Churches of Early Christian Greece
William R. Caraher (Ohio State University)
This paper focuses on the role of architecture as evidence and agent of social change. The emergence of a new form of architecture in Early Christian Greece, the Christian basilica, suggests that society was undergoing a transformation even though there are few textual sources for this period in Greek history. A careful examination of these buildings reveals that their architecture, decoration and the rituals that took place there, presented a novel social program organized around the ecclesiastical hierarchy. P. Bourdieu's notion of habitus, the generative principle that governs all forms of communication, will serve as a point of departure. It provides a way to understand how both the clergy and the laity manipulated pre-existing architecture forms, decorative programs, and rituals to project new ideas of sacred authority into the "secular" or profane world during the fifth and sixth centuries.
The specific studies presented by Bourdieu, however, were mainly confined to domestic architecture and understanding how habitus shaped the behavior of individuals in the mundane world. The work of M. Eliade presents an interpretive framework for demonstrating the role of habitus as expressed within the framework of sacred space. Drawing heavily on Christian cosmological traditions, he observed that the authority vested in sacred space was attributable to it being a physical manifestation of the divine order. Bourdieu's idea of habitus can help explain how the breach between the sacred and the profane was mediated.
This paper will examine specifically several features common to the Early Christian churches in Greece that functioned to define access to the sacred through the physical and ritual relationships between the individuals and groups. Chancel screens, intercolumnar parapets, and solid walls, worked both to designate areas of the church as sacred and to divide groups of people. While our knowledge of the Early Christian liturgy for Greece is poor, it would have undoubtedly drawn meaning from the built environment as well as imparted meaning to the decoration, architecture, and space. Elaborate mosaic floors, for example, decorated areas which were used during the various parts of the Early Christian liturgy. These mosaic floors communicated Christian ideas through images drawn from an aristocratic context. The floors, informed by their place in liturgical processions and sacred rituals, defined clerical space in both sacred and aristocratic terms. This conflation of aristocratic and religious iconography and the spread of exclusively Christian notions of the sacred coincided with the rise in the legal, economic, and moral authority of the clergy within Late Roman society.
This paper will stress architectural analysis as a means of advancing our understanding of the historical processes which spread Christian culture during the Late Antique period. It will suggest that by combining the divergent ideas of Bourdieu and Eliade we can refine our understanding of how Christian basilicas in Greece reproduced the divine order across the landscape and made manifest the cosmological basis for the growing secular authority vested in the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
Magic and the Byzantine Viewer: Seeing Magical Acts and Objects
in the Late Ancient and Early Byzantine World
Catherine Burris (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
This paper examines the visual coding that allowed early Christian and Byzantine viewers to recognize a magical scene or object as such. We generally assume that a contemporary audience was able to Îsee' magic in at least two modes, narrative and iconographic. That is, that scenes of magical activity and symbols with magical power were, if not transparent, at least apparent to the Byzantine viewer. Depictions of Christian miracles; and of rival, pagan, magicians; apotropaic amulets; curative imprints and amulets: all, we imagine, were intelligible. What, then, were the semantics of these images? How did they communicate their past or potential potency?
This paper does not offer an extended discussion of the vexed question of the distinction between magic and religion. That is an argument for another time and place; in this paper, I examine images of the exercise of supernatural power, and symbols meant to exercise such power. Narrative scenes, drawn from mosaics, relief sculpture, and painting, can, in the ways their creators chose to depict supernatural acts or occurrences, suggest the expected structure and accoutrements of Îmagic.' Not all do; many exhibit close conformity to the textual version. It is in the ways that some differ from the textual version that we see the use of an existing visual structure to convey the nature of the event. Many amulets also make use of a specific visual structure to convey their potential potency, employing not only a common set of symbols or terms but also a common visual grammar.
The recognition of a magical image, whether narrative or iconographic, sometimes seems to have had less to do with content than with presentation. At least, the creators of many magical images operated under this assumption, using various devices to ensure that the viewer would understand the nature of the image. It behooves us, then, to pay at least as much attention to these devices as to the scenes and symbols themselves.
The Secular World I
Chair: Sharon Gerstel (University of Maryland)
Novels in the Bibliotheca: What Photius Left Out
Katherine Panagakos (The Ohio State University)
The Bibliotheca of Photius, written in the mid-ninth century C.E., is a collection of notes on 280 works of various authors. These works include both pagan and Christian literature (specifically theology), historical accounts, rhetorical treatises, and novels from a wide range of time periods. One of the reasons that Photius' Bibliotheca is of such great importance is that many of his Îreviews' preserve both summaries and quotes from texts that survive only in fragments or are in some cases no longer extant. Without Photius' work, our knowledge of these works would be completely lost or at least considerably diminished.
In this presentation, I will consider Photius' summaries of the novelists, including Heliodorus, Achilles Tatius, Iamblichus, and Antonius Diogenes. Of these four, the first two benefit from a well attested manuscript tradition and are wholly extant; the latter two novels owe their existence to a handful of papyrus and manuscript fragments. Despite the occasional comment and isolated quotations by later writers, Photius is our most complete source for these fragmentary novels. Yet, Photius' summaries of Heliodorus' Aethiopika and Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon have been criticized for their inaccurate and scanty summaries (Wilson and HSˇgg). Therefore, if we place little or no credence in Photius' summaries of Heliodorus' and Achilles Tatius' novels, how can we rely on his summaries for the works that no longer exist?
I propose to compare the summaries of Heliodorus and Achilles Tatius in the Bibliotheca to the fully extant novels. By doing this, I will demonstrate Photius' adherence to the text and any discrepancies. I will consider what Photius leaves out of his summaries and what may be his reasons for doing so. Also, I will examine what themes or events receive comparatively more attention and comment. Only by analyzing the summaries and the fully extant texts and by answering such questions can we attempt to approach Photius' summaries of the lost novels and begin to credit or discredit them.
To give an example of how Photius handles a scene in his summary, we can consider the necromancy episode in Book VI.14-15 of Heliodorus' Aethiopika. Two of the main characters come upon a woman who raises one of her sons from the dead to ask whether her other son will live. Gerald Sandy states that although the necromancy episode in Heliodorus comprises only 1/90th of the entire story, in Photius it receives 1/14th of the total summary (1982, 95). This disparity is curious and, as I will argue, provides some indication not only of which specific details about this episode were of particular interest to Photius but also why they attracted his attention.
The Middle Byzantine Ivory Box of Veroli
in the Context of Literary Ideas about Romantic Love
Diliana Angelova (Harvard University)
This talk proposes a new framework for the interpretation of the origin, literary connections and meaning of the exquisitely carved mythological scenes on the eleventh-century ivory box in the Victoria and Albert Museum usually referred to as the ÎVeroli casket'. My study builds upon and revises the principle work on the subject, the 1964 article of Erika Simon. Although Simon persuasively argues for an overall thematic unity of the scenes on the Veroli box under the idea of the effect of love, she attributes the images to a very specific and narrow source, a now lost manuscript of the Dionysiaca by Nonnos of Panopolis.
Analyzing the iconography of the box in the context of other Middle Byzantine boxes, as well as a number of Late Antique objects with mythological scenes, I have come to the conclusion that the iconographic types found on the Veroli casket came from too well-known a stock of images to attribute their origin to the illuminations or text of a single manuscript. The imagery of the Veroli box draws from a Late Antique representational and literary idiom, in which mythological characters were understood as typologies, paradigms of female or male beauty, and especially of passion and sexual union in marriage. A few of the characters that appear on the eleventh-century ivory casket appear on Late Antique marriage objects, and are also used in epithalamia as comparisons to the bride or the groom.
The central question about the Veroli box is therefore the following: What is the significance of the mythological characters shown on the box for the Middle Byzantine context? In my view, the scenes on the box reveal three aspects of Eros: frivolity, eroticism and suffering. While there is an apparent absence of narrative sequence, all three aspects of love are fused into a strong compositional coherence. In the Middle Byzantine period the literary equivalent to this artistic vision of Eros as a playful, yet cruel force was the Greek romance. Thus, I see a connection between the Veroli box and the novels about the trials and joys of love. The romances help to clarify the identification of some of the representations on the Veroli box and the significance of their selection. This kind of analysis opens up new interpretational possibilities for other Byzantine boxes with carved mythological scenes. Like most of the romances, which take place in the mythological pastimes of the Classical world, the images on the Byzantine boxes derive much of their subject and inspiration from the timeless examples of antiquity.
Representations of Non-elite Dress
Jennifer L. Ball (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Relatively little can be known about the dress of the working class and poor of the Byzantine Empire: their portraits were not painted, their outfits were not described by historians of the day, and the surviving Byzantine textiles in museum collections today were surely beyond their means. However, anonymous farmers, soldiers, beggars and fishermen do appear in the background of manuscript illuminations of more important figures and sometimes adorn common pieces of pottery. Masses of people were used to color the background of rebellion scenes, parades, and other subjects of historical importance. Byzantine writers occasionally describe the poor if only to point up the charity of an emperor or saintly figure, and we read brief descriptions of foot soldiers' simple armor in the stories of the emperor's brave acts. These representations and textual references to the working class allow us to reconstruct the Byzantine perception of non-elites while providing sketchy information on how they actually dressed.
A study of representations of non-elites demonstrates that these figures were schematized so as to outline a code of working class types. Farmers, shepherds and other laborers who work outdoors are shown in short, plain tunics, belted at the waist, and tall boots. Often soldiers do not wear any armor, brandishing only a sword to indicate their profession. Musicians, dancers and other performers are typically shown in short tunics, like farmers, but with added glitz in the form of gold embroidered trim or patterned fabric. Moreover, in a few instances, artists abandoned the schematic working class clothing typically used by Byzantine painters, suggesting that a greater variety of clothing existed for the average Byzantine. The ubiquitous short tunic, for example, seems not necessarily to have been short but was allowed in a variety of lengths. Some Byzantine writers went beyond the trope of the poor man in tattered clothing and gave more information, telling us for example, that male and female dress was differentiated, which is not evident in most painted illustrations. Literary descriptions also indicate that those who performed for the emperor as dancers or athletes wore beautiful clothing, despite their class. In this paper the Byzantine perceptions of the non-elite classes will be examined. Clear stereotypes of these groups will emerge. In addition, deviations from the stock representations will also be addressed, as these abnormalities hint at a greater variety of dress than is seen in the formulaic figures represented.
The Secular World II
Chair: Asen Kirin (University of Georgia)
Picking at an Old Question: The Use of Cutlery at the Byzantine Table
Maria Parani (Nicosia, Cyprus)
A long time has passed since 1938 when Father Jerphanion discussed the use of forks in mediaeval Byzantium, propos the occurrence of representations of such objects in a small group of Cappadocian ensembles. Given the recent increase of scholarly interest in Byzantine daily life in general and in the eating and drinking habits of the Byzantines in particular, a new discussion of the use of cutlery in Byzantium that takes into consideration new evidence seems to be in order.
Admittedly, the evidence on Byzantine cutlery, whether archaeological, written, or artistic, is limited and, as a result, difficult to interpret. Knives are well attested in the archaeological record. The knife is the one item of cutlery that is commonly represented in dining scenes in Byzantine art. Knives are most often depicted resting on the table. In certain representations, however, they are shown in use, either for cutting a morsel or for bringing it to the mouth. Strangely enough, knives are not listed among household effects in Byzantine lists of movable property. A closer look at such lists, however, makes it clear that they are not always exhaustive. Consequently, the lack of references to knives may be indicative of their not being considered valuable or rare enough to mention, rather than of their not being in use in a particular household.
By contrast to knives, the use of forks at the table appears to have been limited and, at first glance, more exclusive. On those rare occasions when forks are mentioned in the sources, they are associated with the wealthiest strata of society. However, the find of a fork during the excavation of a twelfth-century settlement in the outskirts of a Danube fortress suggests that forks could have been found in less affluent households as well. Representations of forks appear sporadically from the tenth down to the fourteenth century, with an interesting concentration in eleventh- and twelfth-century pictorial contexts, Constantinopolitan and provincial. Nevertheless, these Middle Byzantine representations cannot be considered as proof of widespread use of forks in the lands of the Empire at the time; the occurrence of forks in those contexts may simply be due to the repetition of a common artistic model rather than a reflection of contemporary regional practices.
The use of spoons at the Byzantine table is attested in the written sources. Silver spoons are sometimes mentioned in Byzantine lists of household effects. Actual finds of spoons in mediaeval contexts are very rare. This has lead to the hypothesis that the spoons used on a daily basis in average Byzantine households were made of wood rather than metal. Representations of spoons are equally rare. The number of spoons represented on the table is smaller than the number of the guests taking part in the meal. The same is true of representations of knives and forks. One wonders how this lack of correspondence should be interpreted and to what extent Byzantine representations of dining scenes may be taken to reflect actual Byzantine dining habits.
Aesthetics of Byzantine Fortifications: The Case of Thessaloniki
Nikolas Bakirtzis (Princeton University)
In addition to their crucial defensive function, the fortifications of Byzantium also had particular aesthetic aspects. Their aesthetic value derived from the visual reading of their facades that produced a variety of interpretations depending on the "reader" and the message conveyed. Fortifications marked the safe limits of daily life and presented a major built obstacle to every actual or potential enemy. Their aesthetic character, an essential part of their presence and function, has been neglected by scholarship. The examination of the aesthetic meaning and role of fortifications in Byzantium can reveal an extra-defensive dimension of military architecture permitting at the same time a "mirror view" of daily life in front, behind, or on top of fortification walls.
Building technique and material gave masonry their distinctive character creating in a way the texture of fortification works. Whether the result of a single or of multiple building campaigns, the articulation of fortification facades gave an optical effect with unique and consistent aesthetic qualities. Inscriptions, monograms, crosses, the use of spolia and other decorative details embellished curtain walls, towers and gateways serving a symbolic and no less informative role. As apotropaic features, they aimed to the psychological submission of the enemy deterring him from intended assault. From the point of view of the defender, the same symbolism aimed to reassure a sense of impregnability and strengthen the will of defense. Fortifications were also used as "billboards" publicizing the accomplishments of their patrons, as well as couriers of intended religious and political ideology. The extensive use of building material in second use served the practicality of construction, but at the same time, attested the historical continuity of Byzantine fortifications.
The fortifications of Thessaloniki are among the best preserved examples of Byzantine military architecture. The long curtain of walls marking the limits of the Byzantine metropolis, are the result of subsequent building phases from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. They provide a rich and instructive basis from which to examine the aesthetic character of Byzantine fortifications. The homogeneous presence of the eastern walls and towers of Thessaloniki combined with the incorporation of earlier structures, as in the case of the rectangular Roman towers and the distinctive successive brickwork arches on the western walls, provides a wealth of aesthetic impressions revealing the building history of the city. Numerous inscriptions manifest primary construction phases, such as the 390 Hormisdas inscription on the eastern walls, and restorations, such as the twelfth-century inscription of Andronicus Lapardas on a tower of the Acropolis enclosure. The extensive use of spolia in all the building phases and parts of the defenses of the city reaches its climax in the main entrance tower of citadel of Heptapyrgion on the occasion of the Ottoman conquest of Thessaloniki. Its eclectic decorative appearance overlooking the city suggests a continuous use of spolia as an aesthetic vocabulary employed throughout the Byzantine era to the Early Ottoman period.
Slavery in the Will of Eustathius of Thessalonica
Charles M. Brand (Emeritus, Bryn Mawr College)
Among our principal evidences for slavery and the emancipation of slaves in the Byzantine Empire of the 11th-12th Centuries are a number of wills. That of Eustathius, Metropolitan of Thessalonica in the late 12th Century (published as Epistola No. 26 in his Opuscula, p. 334, lines 27-75), is among the most frustrating, and yet the most significant. Frustrating, because it is a rhetorical composition which offers no information concerning the names, number, or origins of his slaves. Yet it is significant as the only one of the group of wills which furnishes the author's thoughts on the origins of slavery, or suggests any qualms in the author about holding slaves. As in other wills which have come down to us from this period, the author emancipates all of his slaves. Eustathius uniquely expresses a view that slavery should not exist, and tries to justify his personal ownership of slaves.
The opening part of the will presents an exposition of the origins of slavery which is quite foreign to the sacred office Eustathius held. Instead of referring to the Old Testament narratives about the beginnings of slavery (the stories of Esau and of Canaan), he offers a version of the Degeneracy of the World topos familiar from classical authors. Initially, he says, all were equally constrained to labor, but the love of luxury led to hireling-service. Further degeneration induced men to introduce slavery. Only at this point does he offer a Christian concept, that slavery is unjustified, because God has raised mankind, his slaves, to brotherhood.
In the concluding section, he insists that while he frees his slaves effective with his death, he will in the meantime maintain them with paternal care. Indeed, he asserts that he nurtures his slaves better than their parents had. To acknowledge that slaves had had parents, and thus family, was to break with the legal tradition that the slaves had no relatives, no family. The rest of the text is concerned with safeguarding the liberty of the slaves who are to be emancipated at his death. He declares that they will be free Romans, a reflection (found in other wills of the period) of the fact that, in the early Roman Empire, emancipated slaves became Roman citizens.
The background of Eustathius' discussion of the origins of slavery will be the primary focus of the paper. One of Eustathius' sentences closely reflects a definition of slavery offered by Chrysippos, an early Stoic, preserved for us by Seneca. Since Eustathius probably did not read Seneca, we must look to Greek sources for the mediation of Stoic and related ideas about slavery and human brotherhood. Presumably, early Christian authors, and very likely John Chrysostom, were the sources of Eustathius' ideas.
To what extent is Eustathius' argument rhetorical fluff? To a considerable degree, it certainly was. Eustathius was a scholar and rhetorician; he needed to preface his emancipation with appropriate words. Nevertheless, the fact that he blended pagan philosophy with declarations of Christian brotherhood is significant.
Byzantine Identities II
Chair: Tia Kolbaba (Princeton University)
Strategies of Jewish Identity in Late Antiquity
Naomi Janowitz (University of California-Davis)
Late antique Jews were once seen as having identities based on normative rabbinic beliefs and doctrines, but are no longer. How better to conceive Jewish identity is not clear. This paper will address two issues related to this problem, first, the question of when identity becomes salient in the first place and second, rethinking the once-standard Judaism vs Hellenism dichotomy.
On the first point, Jewish identity was not marked in such a way that Jews in late antiquity were immediately recognizable to the general public as such. We must ask, then, what specific circumstances necessitated a clear labeling of someone as Jewish. Ironically, in the Greek world we are more likely to see people identified as "Judaeans" when they are located outside of Judaea, designating identity based on a homeland. For those who remained in Judaea, identification was signaled based on other criteria. Here theological beliefs were used for marking identity (in texts but not inscriptions), employing the terminology of "sects" which were the basic form of identification used in philosophical and hence theological circles (Pharisees, etc). These fine demarcations of identity also capture only a minority of what we think of "Jews" since most individuals did not subscribe to any of these labels. Because these theological categories were influenced by philosophical considerations, the categories around which these groups coalesced were issues which are not unique or limited to what we think of as distinct religious traditions. On specific issues such as the role of fate, the soul, and salvation we are confronted with the odd possibility that "baptists" of Jewish and Christian persuasion might agree with each other over against other members of their respective traditions. Our picture of identity depends on the setting in which identity is being established.
On the second point, the dichotomies that we find employed in ancient texts, and then re-used in modern scholarship, are inherently deceptive. The dichotomy Judaism vs Hellenism, constructed mainly from a few references in II Maccabees, stubbornly remains a defining concept, despite extensive criticism. Here I will attempt to offer another way of thinking about these terms especially as they map identity. Juxtaposing "Judaism" and "Hellenism," I would argue, is a particular strategy for establishing identity which contrasts with other strategies, including some used in the same period which employ the same terms. That is, in some uses "Jew" was equated with "Hellene" and both terms were juxtaposed against still other terms. Contrasting these examples with the more familiar Judaism/Hellenism dichotomy gives us an idea of the rhetorical goals for which the contrasts were constructed.
Polemics against the Jews during the Ninth Century
Roly Zylbersztein (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
The post seventh-century polemic against the Jews in Byzantium has been relatively neglected in modern scholarship contrary to its interest in the attitude among the Church Fathers of the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries.
During the Iconoclastic period and later, works against the Jews were still produced (albeit only a small portion of the literature is extant), following both traditional genre (dialogues, florilegia, homilies) and as episodic within more extensive compositions, e.g., hagiography . We should remember that secular and ecclesiastical laws against the Jews continued in force, although their constant repetition in later codes suggests many were observed in the breech. Abjuration formulae too are widely attested. The ninth-century sources (supplemented by late eighth- and early tenth-century materials) illuminate a continuing and lively polemic against the Jews, who, apparently and despite their small numbers, were still considered a challenge by the Church and the Empire; and their way of life was perceived to be attractive in some manner among the general population (as we can see in the decisions of Nicaea II and the acceptance of Judaism by the Khazars).It is likely too that some of these polemical writings may express attacks on Iconoclasm and heretical groups such as the Paulicians; they may occasionally represent internal political conflicts within the Church.
The main purpose of this paper is to categorize the polemics of the ninth century and to explore, if not qualify, the relationship between them and earlier polemical literature. Also the paper will discuss a possible connection between them and the anti Jewish policy of Basil I. Did the latter mask a State-Church confrontation? Perhaps it reflects or continues the eighth-century Church rejection of the forced baptism of the Jews by Leo the Isaurian as for example in the ninth-century treatise of Gregory of Nicaea.
Examination of such sources as Photios' anti-Judaic homilies (with his historical approach), dialogues that discuss specific subjects (the Trinity, for example) or the mention of conversion of Jews to Christianity (as in the Life of Constantine the Jew), indicates that we are not dealing with some kind of "imaginaire", but with a reality that defied (or was perceived to defy) both Church and the State. Each of these two institutions, of course, had their respective approaches to such challenges: the Church argued within the framework of its doctrinal attitude toward the Jews, while the State pursued its own policy of unification and the functionality of the Empire.
Moreover, it seems that we can find a different language usage in the sources in different periods. During the second phase of Iconoclasm until Photios' times an aggressive language replete with curses and epithets is widely spread. In the latter part of the ninth century, through the reign of Leo VI, the discourse on the Jews becomes more sympathetic, at least a more genteel speech. Despite the constant recycling of the polemical literary motifs, we also find traces of differentiation in language that may encapsulate the historical tendencies in each time. The search for cultural unification by Basil I transformed into a policy of forced baptisms (continued by his son Leo VI), showed a more respectful discourse towards the Jews, using a more diplomatic approach, as we can also find in Jewish sources. On the contrary, in previous times the Jews were not the focus of interest by rulers and Church. Therefore, the discourse was aggressive, fitting the confrontational context of Iconoclasm and other heresies. The reconstruction of Orthodoxy after the Iconoclastic crisis maintained the aggressive brand of polemics (that also served the edification of Christians) only for a short time.
A new conclusion that emerges from this survey is that there is no necessary correlation between forced baptism and aggressive discourse on the one hand and peaceful times and genteel language on the other. Further research will test this thesis for other periods as well.
Prophetic Iconography in Cilician Armenia
Ioanna Rapti (Collge de France, Paris)
Book production was thoroughly transformed from the second half of the twelfth century in Cilician Armenia. In addition to the increased production of manuscripts, works from this region display two important developments: the illustration of new texts and the depiction of subjects that had not previously appeared in Armenian art. These developments in later Armenian illumination must be understood within the context of intercultural exchange in the eastern Mediterranean in this period.
One artistic innovation of this period is the emergence of prophetic iconography. Although illustrations based on prophetic texts are found in Early Christian sculpture in the Caucasus, there is no evidence of prophetic iconography before the middle of the thirteenth century. Portraits, and occasionally visions, open the prophetic books in Bibles as well as relevant readings in lectionaries. In this paper I will focus on Gospel books from the 1260s. In these manuscripts, prophets are depicted within canon tables, adjacent to relevant quotations, and within specific compositions. If these prophetic figures seem mostly characteristic of the work of the well-known illuminator T^oros R$oslin, illustrations in the gospel book FGA 56.11, produced at Gr$ner 1263, however, demonstrate that this imagery was more widespread than the work of a single innovative painter.
Scholars have paid little attention to the expanded representation of prophets in Armenian manuscripts of this period. Helen Evans suggested that their inclusion revealed Western influence. Sirarpie Der Nersessian argued that their depiction was intended to demonstrate, in visual terms, the continuity of the two Testaments. I will examine the motivations for representing prophets by discussing: 1) the texts inscribed on the scrolls that they hold; 2) iconography and style, and; 3) the portrait's physical relation to the text and its iconographic context. Through their scrolls' dialogue prophets in canon tables highlight the prefatory role of the preliminary quires. Figures next to the text underline selected prophetic quotations by the depiction of the authors. More unusually, prophets involved as actors in compositions display additional texts as comments to the related narratives.
I will argue that specific iconography is governed by the distribution of these manuscripts to the elite of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia and that the increased representation of prophets at this time must be related, artistically, with iconographic trends in the Eastern Mediterranean and, historically, with the aspirations of the Cilician Church and secular power to play a leading role in this region.
Ethnic Identity and Literary Latin in Constantinople, 1261-1305
Elizabeth A. Fisher (The George Washington University)
After 1261, the reconquered capital of Byzantium included among its inhabitants various ethnic categories of persons sharing a common level of sophistication in Latin literature. To the extent that surviving sources allow, this paper will describe the ethnicity of such persons according to primary spoken language ö e.g., French, Italian, or Greek. The occupations of these persons will be examined as well. Among Westerners to be discussed, some were scholars seeking Greek manuscripts in Constantinople, some were attached to Venetian and Genoese commercial enterprises as secretaries and accountants, and some belonged to the retinues of imperial brides. Although official translators were expected to demonstrate linguistic fluency, not literary education, some, both Greek and Western, did know Latin literary texts. Similarly, among Greek and Western monks in Constantinople, some were scholars familiar with Latin literature.
Opportunities for interaction among these groups will be examined, as well as evidence that common scholarly interests could on occasion transcend the ethnic, confessional, and occupational boundaries separating them.
Late Byzantine History
Chair: Walter Kaegi (University of Chicago)
ÊSEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1 The Equivalence of the Fiscal Terms Pronoia and Oikonomia
Mark C. Bartusis (Northern State University)
Over the years scholars have frequently noted that the word oikonomia could be used to designate a pronoia. Some have suggested that a pronoia was a type of oikonomia. Others have gone further and written that the terms in their technical application were often synonymous. Indeed one often encounters in the treatment of the institution of pronoia an implied equivalence between the two terms.
A comparison of pronoiai and oikonomiai shows that the two were very similar. Both were granted by the emperor and were held by soldiers, officials, and aristocrats, monasteries, churches, and clergymen; both at times could be inherited or otherwise alienated; both at times could be burdened with a military obligation and could be taxed; and both contained the same diverse variety of income-producing elements. Once the long-held reluctance to admit the existence of monastic pronoiai is overcome, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the words pronoia and oikonomia, when used to describe a particular kind of imperial grant, were synonymous.
But what was the relationship between the two words such that they would be employed to designate the same thing? Evidently, the appearance of one of the words rather than the other reflects an evolution in fiscal terminology, something that has not been heretofore noticed. A comparison by decade of the number of documents that use the fiscal term pronoia (or its verbal, adjectival, and adverbial forms) with the number that use the fiscal term oikonomia permits several observations regarding the relative frequency of the appearance of the words over time:
Hail, Tsar! Hail, Autokrator!
Shifting Political Loyalty in Fourteenth Century Edessa
Dusan Korac (CPIT, The Catholic University of America)
Serbian tsar Stefan DuÁan annexed Western Macedonia, Thessaly and Epiros in 1348, without having fought a single battle. Many among the local Byzantine elite readily accepted the new ruler. All the major cities, including Edessa, the only exception being Thessalonica, opened their gates to his troops. The change of power was smooth and relatively painless for the former Byzantine subjects, except for the relatively few, who remained openly loyal to John V Palaeologos or John VI Kantakouzenos. In such times of chaos and prolonged civil wars, weak central authority, and fragmentation of political power, personal loyalty to the current ruler became the critical factor of political life. The emperor of "the Serbs and the Greeks," saw himself as one of the participants in a Byzantine civil war, rather than as a conqueror. Stefan DuÁan acted as a legitimist, and most of his new subjects accepted him as a legitimate sovereign. Provincial and urban elites in Byzantine Macedonia and Thessaly did not adjust to Serbian authority by migrating to the Serbian capital or seeking court offices. They survived by staying at home. Naturally, the people who governed the newly acquired territories came from the closest circle of the Serbian ruler: his trusted commander "caesar" Preljub was appointed governor of Thessaly. He relied on local archons, often the very people who held the same offices under the Byzantine basileus. The Serbs remained a very small minority in local administration. The only local antagonism was between factions among the local Greek elite, exploited by Stefan DuÁan for his political goals.
In the fall of 1350 Stefan DuÁan was engaged in operations against the Bosnian ban along the coast of Dalmatia. The only force he had left in the south were several city garrisons, consisting of Serbian detachments and German mercenaries. John VI Kantakouzenos accompanied by local Byzantine archons, who chose to flee the Serbian rule, invaded the newly acquired Serbian territories with a small army of sailors and Turkish mercenaries, 1500 men altogether. After an initial charge of Byzantine sailors on the very well fortified citadel, the Serbian garrison in Edessa surrendered without much fighting and was allowed to leave. All members of the pro-Serbian party were expelled from the city. It seemed that, after all, political loyalty paid off better than political opportunism. However, Stefan DuÁan's governor Preljub successfully defended the strategic city of Servia and thus preserved Serbian rule in Thessaly. With the beginning of the winter rain season John VI Kantakouzenos returned to Thessalonica. The Serbian tsar hastily concluded his operations against the Bosnian ban and appeared suddenly under the walls of Thessalonica. After a three-day stand off with Kantkouzenos Stefan DuÁan crossed the Axios heading towards Thessaly. Early in January of 1351 the Serbs took Edessa by storm, using siege ladders and partially breaking city walls. The city was plundered, and this time the supporters of the pro-Byzantine party had to leave. Soon thereafter the entire region was brought back to Stefan DuÁan's control. Throughout the south of the Serbian Empire, including the imperial capital Skoplje, supporters of Kantakouzenos were prosecuted for high treason. Citizens of Edessa realized once again how risky the game of shifting political loyalty might be in precarious and uncertain times.
A "New" Eyewitness Source and the Prosopography of the Defenders
in the Siege of Constantinople (1453)
Marios Philippides (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
The Slavonic narrative of Nestor-Iskander is usually entitled Povest' o Tsaregrade. It has now been demonstrated by Professor W. K. Hanak and myself that the Povest' is a document of primary significance, presenting authentic testimony. Thus far this Slavonic document has been used sparingly by various historians and has only played a secondary role in modern accounts of the siege and fall; primarily, it has been used to support the statements reported by other accounts, at best, or, at worst, it has been ignored by modern analyses. A number of reasons can account for this omission: the difficult Slavonic text, the complicated structure of the narrative, the unavailability of this chronicle in western languages, and the erroneous impression that Nestor-Iskander was present in the Ottoman camp and not with the defenders.
In this presentation the neglected information that Nestor-Iskander supplies on the defenders, their positions on the walls, and their activities during the siege will be examined and evaluated: "New" facts will surface to help us understand the operations along the land walls and specifically in the critical sector of Saint Romanus defended by Giovanni Guglielmo Longo Giustiniani and the elite troops, as Nestor-Iskander was present in this location.
In addition, previously ignored information on key figures in the defense will be evaluated and "new" defenders will be added to the existing list, such as "Strategos/Stratig'" Rhangabes, "Khiliarkhos/Khiliarkh'" Theodor' [Theodoros Karyste-nos?], and Palaeologus Singourlas. In addition, important information on Giustiniani's wound and withdrawal on May 29, which precipitated the fall of the city will be examined, as Nestor-Iskander presents a "new" account.
The compilation of the prosopography of the participants in the siege and sack of Constantinople in 1453 has become imperative. There has never been any systematic study of defenders, attackers, and survivors. Such a project could provide us with a solid background to carry out an authoritative, military study of the operations. A prosopography based on reliable, authoritative texts composed by eyewitnesses and not on secondary documents that have passed thus far as primary texts must be carried out as the numerous analyses of the siege that have already appeared are deficient and seriously flawed on various aspects. The definitive investigation remains to be concluded. In this future project the narrative of Nestor-Iskander will play an important part, as it is indicated in this presentation.
One Source, Two Renditions:
"The Tale of Constantinople" and Its Fall in 1453
Walter K. Hanak (Shepherd College)
Two manuscript versions, the early sixteenth-century Russian Troitse-Sergieva Lavra ms. No. 773, and the Serbian Old Slavonic rendition, the Hilandar Slavic ms. 280, accomplished in 1585 by a schimonk Vasilie, though based on an Old Slavonic/Medieval Russian original, present a marked contrast in interpretations. While the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra ms. is a singular work, standing alone within a Medieval Russian manuscript tradition, the Hilandar ms. constitutes folia 257r-289v of a much larger text, the book of Flavius Josephus, that is his Bellum Judaicum or The Jewish Wars. Given the brevity of this paper, time does not permit an examination of why "The Tale of Constantinople" was included in the text of The Jewish Wars. Rather, what is significant is how the Serbian transcriber viewed and interpreted the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453. The schimonk Vasilie has not only emended textual passages, but has reinterpolated, altered terminology, rephrased sentences, and substantially deleted whole sections of the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra ms. In essence, Vasilie, contrary to his innocent claim of simply translating a text into Serbian/Old Slavonic, has attempted to rewrite the diary account of Nestor-Iskander without making any attribution to him as an eye-witness to the fall of Constantinople. Perhaps, we should view and label Vasilie first among a long line of revisionist textologists who sought to document the tragic but not unexpected events of 1453. Notable is Vasilie's treatment of the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI. The emperor is regularly identified as the "Orthodox Emperor" unlike the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra ms. which makes no such similar claim or attribution but views the fall of the city due to the pro-Uniate proclivities of Constantine XI. Other significant textual alterations and reinterpolations will be addressed in this paper as well.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the significant and substantial differences between the two manuscript traditions and their contributions to the rewriting of the history of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Turks.
should graciously acknowledge that a copy of the Hilandar Slavic ms. 280 was furnished to me by Predrag Matejic, Curator of the Hilandar Research Library, The Ohio State University, and I am indebted to him for his kind assistance.
Late Antiquity II
Chair: Michael Gaddis (Syracuse University)
Into the Flames: Destruction by Fire in Late Antiquity
Daniel Sarefield (The Ohio State University)
The fifth-century ecclesiastical historian Socrates Scholasticus records a well-known incident of religious violence that occurred in Alexandria, a city notorious for its religious conflicts in this period. In A.D. 415, the pagan philosopher Hypatia was thrown from her carriage by an angry mob of Christians as she returned to her residence in the city. She was dragged to a nearby church, and there, stripped her of her clothing, she was murdered. The mob literally tore her limb from limb. According to Socrates, they employed potsherds to carry out this grotesque task; other sources report that they used sharpened oyster shells. After they butchered Hypatia, her remains were brought to a place called Cinaron, where they were burned. As a final insult, her ashes were scattered into the sea.
In Late Antiquity, this pattern of ritualized destruction became all too familiar in Alexandria. In religious conflicts there, fire came to be broadly employed as a means of symbolic eradication, destroying not only people, like Hypatia, George of Cappadocia, and others, but also (notably in this period) books, and religious structures too, like a Mithraeum in Alexandria, which was consumed by flames amid acute violence between pagans and Christians in 389-390. Such immolation was commonly performed in a highly public setting, like in front of a church or in conjunction with some other community event in order to achieve the greatest impact on spectators. The purpose of the flames was twofold. Fire consumed the object completely and so its incineration purged the offense from the community. Its annihilation also cleansed the community and thereby restored or maintained good relations with the divine sphere.
This paper will examine the use of fire in ritualized violence during the Late Antique period in Alexandria and elsewhere in the Mediterranean world. At the heart of the discussion will be the question whether such public immolations were a uniquely Alexandrian habit or part of a larger trend of Late Antiquity. As will be argued, this pattern of violence was rooted in traditional Greek and Roman practices and conceptions of pollution and expiation.
Feasting at the Grave: Funerary Commemoration and the Catacombs of Rome
Stephanie L. Smith (Youngstown State University)
Archeological evidence clearly indicates that people gathered at the Christian catacombs of Rome but makes no suggestion of their entry into the decorated galleries and cubicula. In addition, literary mention of catacomb visitation in Rome is rare and does not include descriptions of the wall paintings, carved sarcophagi, and sundry objects left to adorn the tombs. The extant structural remains, outside a select group of Roman catacombs, present the possibility that the necessary funerary obsequies, focused on a commemorative meal, occurred outside the catacomb, and that funerary visitation, in the early Christian period, did not oblige the visitor to enter the catacomb in order to participate in the act of commemoration.
Christians, like their pagan predecessors and contemporaries, observed a series of commemorative celebrations in the first few months after death and then annually on special occasions. Christian continuation of these traditions is proven in the reference to such practices made by many early Christian writers such as Augustine, who indicates that the early Christian banquet was closely based on pagan prototypes. These banquets included a cooked meal and required access to fresh water. The practice of such a meal within the catacombs of Rome is unlikely given the constricted space, difficulty navigating the ever-growing maze of dark galleries, and the horrific smell produced by the decomposition of bodies, a process that normally takes from one to three years.
Understanding the nature of commemoration and where the commemorative activities took place is of paramount importance in any attempt to understand the full significance of the Roman catacombs. It is the intent of this paper to look more closely at the archeological and literary evidence of grave visitation as a way of bringing certain scholarly assumptions, regarding the use of the Roman catacombs by the living, into question. It may be argued that the construction and decoration of the Roman catacombs did not play a role in continued commemorative activity but existed specifically and exclusively for the dead.
The Contemporary Entries in the Theodosian Code: AD 429-437
Ralph Mathisen (University of South Carolina)
On March 26, 429, a constitution was issued by Theodosius II (402-450) authorizing the compilation of a law code that would include the laws "quas Constantinus inclitus et post eum divi principes nosque tulimus" (CTh 1.1.5). The resultant compilation, the Codex Theodosianus, was not issued until early 437 (Nov.Theod.1: 15 Feb.). This means that for nearly eight years new legislation continued to be promulgated, legislation that, by the terms of the enabling constitution, also was liable to inclusion in the Code. On this basis, therefore, the texts included in the Code can be simplistically divided into two categories: (1) those issued prior to 429, which would have been "archival" in nature, that is, ferretted out of either central or provincial archives, and (2) those issued while the compilation process was going on, which might be dubbed "current." One of the few writers to place any significance on these final entries is John Matthews, who in his Laying Down the Law. A Study of the Theodosian Code (Yale, 2000: p.243) suggests that "certain very late inclusions" may have been "given to the editors of the Code by sources close to the centre of power."
This paper will take a concentrated look at the 44 entries drawn from 34 laws in the Code (augmented by entries from the Code of Justinian) that were issued while the compilation process was going on. As contemporary rather than archival inclusions, one might ask (1) whether they had any formal differences as compared to the archival documents, (2) whether they were treated any differently by the compilers, (3) what, if anything, as a discrete control group they can tell us about the volume of legislation, (4) whether any special role was played or influence brought to bear by members of the editorial committees who also held high public office at the same time, and (5) whether these laws were treated any differently in the Codex Justinianus, where they then would have been in the category of "archival" entries.
A few preliminary observations. Of 8 entries for 429, 6 are western, and the last western entry is from 432: what does this tell us about the compilation process? Why are only 4 of the 10 CTh entries for 436 in the CJ? Four entries taken from two laws issued to Celer, proconsul of Africa, in 429 suggest that the collection process began immediately, with the African archives having been ransacked as early as mid-429.
Procopius of Caesarea, Theophanes Confessor,
and the Beginnings of Vandal Kingship
F. M. Clover (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Long before Poseidonius of Apamea [fl. 100 BCE] traveled among the Celts of southern Gaul, the Greeks had exhibited curiosity about the northern "barbarians". The fascination persisted in the Roman East, long after Constantine the Great re-founded Byzantium. Around the turn of the fifth century, for instance, Ammianus Marcellinus and Olympiodorus of Thebes took care to note the northerners' spare use of the title of "king" ö they gave their chieftains a variety of titles. Olympiodorus employed the generic term "phylarch" ["tribal leader"] to cover the non-royal titles.
Two Byzantine writers, Procopius of Caesarea and Theophanes Confessor, offer the most precious information about the beginnings of kingship among the Vandals in Africa. In the War Commentaries Procopius chronicles the commencement of royal succession among the Hasdingi, the Vandals' ruling clan. The first visible leader was Godagisil. After he died [around 406 CE], his two sons, half-brothers, Gundiric and Geiseric, succeeded him. Upon Gundiric's death [around 428 CE], Geiseric became "sole ruler", and subsequently held sway at Carthage for 39 years. The regnal years Procopius gives to Geiseric match the period 439-477 CE, the year the Vandals captured Carthage and the year in which Geiseric died respectively. But what of the years before 439 CE? Was Geiseric king at that time, too? Procopius seems to think so.
The ninth-century chronicler Theophanes Confessor offers an interesting corrective to Procopius' sweeping interpretation ösurprisingly so, for much of Theophanes' discussion of Vandal affairs comes from Procopius. An exception is the chronicler's entries for Years-of-Creation 5941 and 5942 [=448/9 and 449/50 CE] ö entries which derive from another early Byzantine historian and rhetorician, Priscus of Panium [fl. 450-470 CE]. Theophanes [Priscus] places Geiseric's seizure of the royal title amidst events such as the Robber Council of Ephesus [449 CE] and the death of Theodosius II [450 CE]. Close inspection of the Vandal portion of Theophanes' notices will show that Theophanes [Priscus] actually locates Geiseric's appropriation of the royal title around 440/441 CE, soon after the Vandals entered Carthage. Theophanes [Priscus] gives another significance entirely to Procopius' 39 years of reign: those were the years during which Geiseric was "king". What title did Geiseric hold before 439 CE? Using the perspectives of Olympiodorus of Thebes, I will argue that before 439 CE all Hasding leaders were "phylarchs".
BYZANTINE STUDIES CONFERENCE
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES 2001-2002
President: Sharon Gerstel
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Ellen C. Schwartz
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